By Malcolm Marvin
The casual golf fan may not know Russell Knox, but those who follow the golf world know this kid is on the verge of stardom. Born in Scotland, Knox always wanted to complete a life-changing experience. He hired a recruiting agency at age 15 to assist him with his golf game and obtain the necessary exposure to play college golf in the United States. Knox received interest from Jacksonville University, among other schools. His first collegiate visit was to JU, and that would be his last. Jacksonville, Fla., was an obvious choice due to the stellar courses in the area, the education JU provides and the opportunity to play golf year round due to the warm weather. While at JU from 2003-07, Knox won three individual tournaments and still holds the record for the lowest scoring average with a 72.85.
After graduating from JU in 2007, Knox turned professional and started on the mini tours. After some quick success (two wins), Knox joined the Web.com Tour in 2011 and says it was the “key to the development of my game.”
Knox would go on to win the Chiquita Classic that year, on his way to finishing 12th overall on the Web.com Tour and earning his PGA TOUR card. Knox didn’t have much success on the PGA TOUR in 2012, making only 12 cuts while playing a limited schedule, and he had to split time in 2013 between the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour.
This was “the most important thing I’ve ever had to do,” he said regarding his second time on the Web.com Tour. He had to re-dedicate himself and sees “failing to keep his PGA TOUR card as the most beneficial thing for my career.”
During his second stint on the Web.com Tour, Knox made history when he shot a 59 in July 2013 at the Albertsons Boise Open. He birdied three of his last five holes to shoot 29 on the back nine and finished with a 7-foot par putt.
“The last hole was very difficult, knowing that all I needed was par to shoot 59,” said Knox, who earned back his 2013-14 PGA TOUR card with a tie for sixth at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship at Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass in September.
Recently, Knox had his best career finish with a tie for second at The Honda Classic in West Palm Beach, losing in playoff to Russell Henley. This finish propelled Knox into the top 25 in the FedExCup rankings, which should be more than enough to lock up his 2015 PGA TOUR card.
His goals before the season were to secure his 2015 PGA TOUR card and finish ranked inside the top 100 in the world. Since he’s accomplished the main goal, Knox has added several more: win on TOUR, compete in THE PLAYERS and the other major championships.