New Zealand’s Ryan Fox came agonisingly close to winning his maiden European Tour title, but has officially secured his place at the 147th Open Championship.

It took a dramatic playoff hole to decide the Irish Open champion with Russell Knox producing two magical putts to defeat Fox in the dying moments.

Fox, the son of All Blacks legend Grant Fox, enjoyed a storming back nine at Ballyliffin Golf Club, which included three birdies on the bounce that launched him into contention.

From there, luck was not on his side as a birdie putt to win the championship from 10-feet on the 72nd hole jumped offline in jaw-dropping fashion.

Knox will remember this day for years to come as he set alight the final hole with two matching putts rolling in from 35 feet, leaving Fox with a similar 10-foot putt to extend the playoff.

This time, his putt went 180 degrees around the hole to break New Zealand hearts.

“I hit two great putts on 18 which grazed the edge and one came back at me,” said Fox. “I’m happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close.

“Had one putt been an inch ether way I’d still be out there now, or even with the trophy in my hand. But well done to Russ, he played some great golf today.”

Playing in the lucrative Rolex Series, not only will Fox be making his way to Carnoustie in two weeks’ time, but he will be doing it $NZ1.1 million richer after his performance.

This result is a fifth top-10 in Rolex Series events and, importantly, sealed his all-important European Tour card.