Knox on Ryder Cup snub: I don't have relationships with anyone

Despite a hefty ranking rise, Scotland's Russell Knox overlooked as a wildcard pick. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Wed, 31 Aug 2016

Russell Knox was denied a Ryder Cup debut despite having won twice since November 2015 (Photo: Getty Images)

Scotland's Russell Knox admits his lack of relationships on the European Tour played against him when it came to Darren Clarke's three wildcard picks this week. 

Despite winning twice and picking up a handful of runner-up finishes since November, catapulting him up to 20th in the world rankings (the sixth-highest European in the world), Knox was still overlooked by out-of-form duo Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer and last week's Danish winner Thomas Pieters when it came to captain Clarke's three picks on Tuesday afternoon. 

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Knox, 31, was disappointed to be snubbed, especially having thought he had done all the hard work when sealing victory at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship at the start of August. 

The celebratory cap throw was probably the biggest giveaway of all. 
 

Knox thought he had done enough for a pick after winning the Travelers Championship in August (Photo: Getty Images)

''We spoke for 20 seconds,'' said Knox, of his phone call with Clarke.

''It was obvious by the way he said, 'hello' that it was bad news. I didn't ask any questions. I wasn't going to ask who he picked or why not me.

"After the bad news, it was get off the phone as quick as possible.''
 

Knox was told by Clarke to play in the Wyndham Championship, but refused (Photo: Getty Images)

But when all is said and done, Knox may live to regret not listening to the advice of Clarke and vice-captain Ian Poulter, who encouraged him to play in the Wyndham Championship from August 18 to 21 - his final chance to earn points and make the side.  

Only Knox, who would have needed a fourth place finish there to lock up an automatic spot in the European team, declined. 
 

A lack of relationships on the European Tour played against Knox (Photo: Getty Images)

While a case of what might have been for Knox, he admits he did have a hunch that he was going to be overlooked due to his lack of European relationships.

Knox was born and raised in Scotland, but he claims Florida as home having lived there since college. He also barely knows Clarke and the rest of the vice-captains. 

''Ultimately, I had that going against me,'' added Knox.

''I don't even know Paul Lawrie. Sam Torrance seems like a legend - I don't know him. I played with Thomas Bjorn once, and we didn't speak one word. I don't have relationships with anyone. I'm not really close to anyone on the team.

''If I would have been picked, it could have been 100 percent different.''

Did Darren Clarke make the right picks in Westwood, Kaymer and Pieters, or should Knox have been included? Share your thoughts in the forum or join the debate on our Facebook and Twitter pages.