Wood comes good and completes first tour win with eagle putt
Darren Clarke was right after all – Bristol’s Chris Wood does have what it takes to be a European Tour winner. A closing 12-ft eagle putt gave Wood a thrilling first victory on the circuit at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha.
It came two years after he was four strokes clear with a round to play in Majorca, but shot 76 and handed the title to stablemate Clarke. “We don’t have to worry about him; he will win and it will be sooner rather than later,” said Clarke, who two months later became British Open champion.
Wood (25), who a year earlier closed with a 76 when leading the BMW PGA Championship, had taken his total of top-10 finishes to 19, including three second places, when he stood on the final tee in Doha yesterday one behind Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee.
Having led by three at the start of the day, he was in grave danger of suffering more bitter disappointment. Instead, he hit a 300-yard drive into perfect position, a towering six-iron over water to 12 feet. After looking at the leaderboard for the first time all day, he sank the putt. “It feels amazing, a dream come true,” he said.
Wood came fifth in the 2008 British Open as an amateur and then a year later missed out on the play-off between Tom Watson and Stewart Cink at Turnberry only by bogeying the final hole. “I’ve been knocking on the door a few times and it’s not happened. Winning on the European Tour is not easy. Now there’s an enormous weight off my shoulders and I feel I can go on and win more.”
Tiger Woods holds a four-shot lead from Canada’s Brad Fritsch after three rounds of the fog-delayed Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, California. Erik Compton and Brandt Snedeker are both a shot further back.
Woods took advantage of all five birdie putts he lined up to record a three-under 69.