Knox eager to compete in front of hometown crowds

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Russell Knox will receive plenty of support from the fans this week at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

While he makes his home in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., Knox is originally from Inverness, Scotland. The town also happens to be the site of Castle Stuart Golf Links, which will be hosting the tournament for the first time since 2013 and will give Knox the rare opportunity to play in his hometown.

"I've been looking forward to this for a long time. Probably four or five years, to be honest," Knox told reporters.

The 31-year-old played alongside Rory McIlroy earlier this year when the Ulsterman hosted, and eventually won, the DDF Irish Open. At No. 27 in the world, he's the highest-ranked Scot and will be one of the more popular draws this week in Inverness.

"If I could get half the support that [McIlroy] received there in Ireland, I'd be thrilled," Knox said. "It would be an honor to get in the mix with a chance to win obviously. But either way, it's going to be incredible."

Knox earned his first PGA Tour win earlier this season at the WGC-HSBC Champions, and he finished second at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba and the RBC Heritage. While those results vaulted him up the FedEx Cup standings, he is still on the wrong side of the bubble to make the European Ryder Cup team.

Knox joined the European Tour after his win in China in the hopes of making his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine, but he didn't receive any points for his WGC victory because he was not yet a tour member. As a result, he's currently 22nd on the world points list, with only the top nine players currently projected to qualify.

"I think I've been thinking about it too much to be honest," he said. "It's all to play for now. I have nothing to lose, everything to gain. If I play good this next month or so, I'm going to have a great chance to play my way on to the team or be right there for a potential pick."