July 11, 2018
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Mr. Knox, how are you feeling after such an epic performance last week?
RUSSELL KNOX: I'm tired to be brutally honest. It was obviously amazing. It wouldn't change anything. I played a lot of golf, but ultimately winning in Ireland makes up for everything, all the hard work I've put in.
So it's been good. I'm tired now, but couldn't really have worked out any better, coming back to Scotland for two weeks, because obviously I'll be up for these next two tournaments, naturally being back home. So it's been a roller coaster ride but all good.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Will you be relying on adrenaline more than anything?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, probably will. Today I'll hopefully remember what to do out there but, come tomorrow, I'll be ready. One of these weeks, I'll probably crash and burn but to be honest, I don't really care. After last week, such a high, the main goal this week, and also next week, is just to enjoy my time here and if I can replicate any kind of form the last few weeks, it will be a huge bonus.
Q. I did see some pictures on Twitter of the celebrations, but can you fill us in on the details? Looked quite enjoyable, shall we say, Sunday evening.
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, obviously the festivities went on a bit but the most fun was the trip to the greenkeepers area, which was nice. Quite a few of the boys there were Scottish from different clubs all around and they had a little live band on the go and a few beverages flowing. It was a good time.
I'd love everyone to feel the rush that you get when you win a tournament like that. It truly is the most amazing feeling ever. It's just a complete blur for a couple hours -- weeks, to be honest. It really is an amazing feeling. It was fun.
Going back to my hometown last couple days has been nice, too, in Inverness, so it's been quite relaxing before the madness of this week. It's been a nice few days.
Q. And unless you're Tiger Woods, of course, not every golfer does win every other week, so is it important to enjoy it? You put all the hard work into getting there. Important to enjoy it when you get the chance?
RUSSELL KNOX: Absolutely. I made that mistake a few years back, my Web.com victory. I didn't realise at the time what I had done and how hard it was to win a professional tournament, so I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I did and I was like, oh, next week, next week.
I played probably -- almost 200 events now. Probably 160, 170 events, PGA and European Tour and I've won three times. I'm going to definitely enjoy every time I can finish first. It almost takes the pressure off this week and next week. I mean, being that I was able to win, obviously I'm here to try and win this week. Every week you play, you try to finish your best but you need to enjoy what just happened, and so I'm not going to forget that any time soon.
Q. On adrenaline, if you're going to try and enjoy it, how do you keep it going with now, The Ryder Cup, very much in the foreground? You're right in the mix?
RUSSELL KNOX: Obviously I knew The Ryder Cup question was going to come up here today. So I've thought about an answer (laughter).
It might be -- it might be a bad answer. But The Ryder Cup is not a goal of mine in the sense that -- of course, it is, it is a goal. But it's a reward to make The Ryder Cup Team.
My goal is to try and win this week, try to win The Open, try to win every event I'm playing in, and then The Ryder Cup is ultimately a reward of good play.
So I think if you set -- I think last time, I think I -- well, it all happened kind of late. But if you set the goal to be The Ryder Cup, you lose focus of what's right in front of you. I think that's where I'm at right now.
Yes, two weeks ago, it was miles away. Now, it's not miles away, and I know I'm trending in the right direction. I've still got these massive events to go beforehand, so it's going to be a reward of what happens from now till then if I'm good enough.
If I'm not good enough, I don't deserve it. It's that simple. I need to, last week was amazing. It's put me right there but it's all about from the day -- to the day the team is picked, if I play good in that stretch, I deserve to make it and if I don't, I don't deserve it. It's a reward of these next couple months to make The Ryder Cup Team.
So my goal is to play well this week in Scotland.
Q. And I know you were very upset in some respects, I know getting into the team two years ago, but with what's happened the last fortnight, does that make you doubly determined?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yes and no. I mean, everything happens for a reason. I was supposed to have won The Irish Open last week. Just the way it happened at the end, I mean, it's just madness. I mean, Ryan Fox could have quite easily have made the putt on the last hole and it would have been all over.
Things happen for a reason. Maybe it was the best thing that ever happened to me not making the team in 2016. I know I'm way better prepared now. I've been through great moments, been through bad moments. I'm more prepared now than I ever have been. My game is at a level which it never has been, so that's good.
So either way, yes or no, I'm ready. Ready to rumble. But like I said, it's now until then that matters. I'm going to have to contend.
But the main thing is I'm enjoying playing and I look forward to the challenge.
Q. Just one more on The Ryder Cup. Obviously four wild cards this time, as opposed to three, does that make any difference at all in your thinking or do you think you just want to qualify and take anything out of the captain's hands?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yeah, I mean, I can't rely on a pick obviously, so I mean, the goal is to make the team. I mean, four picks is a lot. Me playing well in France obviously helped. The course sets up great for me. It's tight off the tee, second-shot golf course. Those are my strengths, so I have that going for me.
But it's almost like there's too much into it now. 12 best European players versus 12 best U.S. players, and that's it. If I play my way into the top eight, great. If I'm not considered in the Top-12, I'm fine with that. The goal is to earn it, but I mean, it's a huge reward to be one of the Top-12 best players, and I for a long time was not there. These last two weeks have jumped me up obviously. We'll see.
Q. Did you speak much to Thomas BjГ¶rn last week or since the victory on Sunday night?
RUSSELL KNOX: I just bumped into him now. He was obviously happy for me. He was like, welcome to the conversation, as such (laughter). So that's been good. He knows. He has a hard job. There's going to be eight amazing players that qualify and he's going to have four tough decisions. Might be four easy decisions, you just never know how it's going to pan out.
Yeah, he's rooting for all of us. He's rooting for me and he's rooting for all the guys on the edge. There might be someone that makes team now that hasn't done anything yet and goes on a purple patch now and goes on with it. He's just rooting for the best 12 players, that's it. I would love to be one of them, so we'll see what happens.
Q. Considering the drama involved in some of your wins, Travelers --
RUSSELL KNOX: I'm big time -- (laughter).
Q. Is there something you learned about yourself in handling those pressure-built moments and being able to rise on the 72nd hole or playoff, as it were?
RUSSELL KNOX: Every person who plays golf dreams of holing a putt on the last hole to win. Fortunately, I've made two putts last week and then the putt at the Travelers to win. So I've been fortunate to have done it twice now.
Maybe I need that environment to bring that out in me. It's all about managing that adrenaline level. Maybe I play my best when I'm on edge. Some of my tournaments I've played my best at are stressful courses, like France, you have a lot of high-stress shots.
Same at Honda. I've played very well there at the U.S., very similar, a lot of high-stress shots. Almost like that triggers my adrenaline level. Maybe that's what I need to play my best. I need to somehow pump myself up for those big moments, and fortunately I've got a couple stacked in the memory books that I can rely on when I need to.
Q. Does your success on The European Tour over the last couple weeks prompt any thoughts of playing more in Europe and slightly shifting the emphasis of your schedule going forward?
RUSSELL KNOX: I thought about that to be honest. I haven't -- I mean, yeah, it might to be perfectly honest. Especially now where my FedExCup ranking is compared to my Race to Dubai ranking. I mean, I went way up in two weeks. I mean, that's important. If you can finish super high in The Race to Dubai, that opens a lot of doors, too, for next year.
I mean, I will play mostly in the US, obviously I've said that since day one, it's home for me now. But yeah, it does change. And what happens here in the next two weeks probably will significantly affect that.
Q. A couple of years ago, you may have done a couple of interviews that maybe -- a little bit in the eye of the captain, and you seem to be more accepting of your fate this time around than pushing it. Have you changed your mind-set over the last couple years in terms of what The Ryder Cup might bring you?
RUSSELL KNOX: No, I don't think I've changed one bit -- I mean, maybe. You have to accept it for what it is. Darren Clarke's decision he made, he tried to make the best decision for him. I mean, wasn't like he was trying to hurt me in any way or whatever. But I mean, I don't think anything's changed. I'm just still trying to take care of business and like I said, if I'm good enough to make the team, I'll be on the team. If not, I won't.
Q. Do you think that disappointment has made you a tougher guy?
RUSSELL KNOX: I think so, yeah. I know I try -- I start to try too hard. I mean, right after The Ryder Cup, I had a couple very nice tournaments, and then I think I tried to improve more in a weird way. I tried too hard and I got worse.
So I think all of that helps you as a player ultimately get to where the highest point you're going to get, you have to go through moments like that, and 2017 was not a great performance year for me, but it's definitely made me a stronger person, a better player, and I'm out of that now. Hopefully I'll take off here.
Q. The Bubba Watson Tweet about the motorhome, is that something you're going to look to invest in?
RUSSELL KNOX: Yes, but there will be no decisions made without the wife, unfortunately. If it was just me, we might have already made that purchase, but we'll see. We'll see.
Q. Another popular topic on social media is we all know your favourite fruit, but is it a red or green apple?
RUSSELL KNOX: No, green, they are too sour for me. I almost died in Malaysia a couple years on a green apple. I was on the par 5 there on the front nine and I hit a nice drive, and they only had green apples. I was munching away and ate it too quickly and started to choke and it got stuck here (mimicking choking on apple caught in throat). I ended up throwing up in the fairway and then pinged a hybrid on the green and 2-putted for birdie (laughter).
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