|J Snyder III||+|
Wood wins in style
Last updated: 26th January 2013
Chris Wood secured his first European Tour win, finishing one shot clear of the field at the Qatar Masters.
Wood, who finished on 18-under-par for the tournament, held off challenges from South African George Coetzee and Spain's Sergio Garcia, who finished in a tie for second place.
It hadn't always been smooth sailing for Wood, who had to hole an eagle at the 18th to ensure victory.
After holding the overnight lead, Wood experienced some nerves in the early stages of the final round.
For a brief moment, it had appeared that the maiden European Tour victory would indeed elude Wood just one more time.
Trailing by one shot heading into the 18th, Wood hit a 202 yard five iron over the water and straight at the flag,
Wood then holed the eight-foot putt, which meant he managed to avoid a play-off scenario against two vastly experienced golfers.
"There's an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders today," said Wood.
"I feel like I can go on and win more.
"I knew it was going to be hard no matter how I played - winning on The European Tour is not easy," added the English golfer.
Wood has come painstakingly close to victory on several occasions, but always failed to cross the finish line.
"It feels good. Blimey, I've seen a few mates picking up trophies and I've been waiting patiently for my time," he said.
"I felt like I was due to win for a couple of years." As for the eagle, Wood added:
"Nice way to finish!"
The win will also help Wood secure enough ranking points to put him in contention for next month's WGC-Accenture Match Play, which will see the top 64 golfers in the world battle it out for top honours.
While Wood celebrated, Coetzee could only take solace from the fact that he had once again finished in the top ten of a tournament. This is the 21st time he has managed to do that in his career.
Garcia would have gone back into the game's top ten for the first time in over three years if he had won, but he will take a lot of positives from his first tournament of the year.
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