Chris Wood: First PGA win is close

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Chris Wood hopes the floodgates will open if he can clinch a first European Tour win.

England’s Chris Wood believes his is closing in on his first PGA European Tour victory – and hopes once he manages it “the floodgates will open”.
The in-form 22-year-old, a contender at each of the past two Open Championships, fell away in the final round to finish sixth at the recent BMW PGA Championship but is strongly fancied to do well at this week’s Estoril Open de Portugal.
“I’ve been pretty steady for the past few weeks – I’ve just been struggling with my putting really,” he said on www.europeantour.com.
“I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways and greens and giving myself plenty of chances – now I’ve got to start taking them more often than not. But we’re not far away.
“My game’s in good enough shape. It’s just a question of waiting for it to happen naturally, instead of putting too much pressure on myself.
“Any player who hasn’t won before is always desperate for their first victory but, once I’ve got it under my belt, hopefully the floodgates will open and I’ll grow in confidence.”
Scotland’s Marc Warren goes into the Penha Longa event looking to build on his scintillating Wales Open finish, when he matched the Celtic Manor course record with a round of 63 – only for it to be broken hours later by Rhys Davies with a 62.
Having failed to break 70 in his previous three rounds in Newport, the eight-under-par score came out of the blue, but Warren believes he has not had the results his form has merited so far in 2010.
He said: “I felt I’ve been playing well the whole year but just have had no finishes at all to speak of. Hopefully this is the start of something good.”
Of the top 50 on the Race to Dubai list, just six are involved in the event where the first prize is worth a handsome 166,660 euros (£138,000).
England’s Robert Rock goes out in a group featuring former Ryder Cup star Darren Clarke, while Oliver Fisher, David Horsey and Ignacio Garrido are also pushing to climb up the money list. They currently occupy top-50 positions and, given the absence of so many leading players, there is an obvious chance to gain ground.
Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey, the defending champion, misses out due to illness.

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