Tired Wood slips one behind

Home

England’s Chris Wood burst out of the Ryder Cup blocks in superb fashion today – but then reckoned tiredness caught up with him.

England’s Chris Wood burst out of the Ryder Cup blocks in superb fashion today – but then reckoned tiredness caught up with him.
At six under par after just 11 holes the 21-year-old from Bristol, third in The Open in July, led the Omega European Masters in Switzerland by two.
But then he stumbled a little, coveringthe remaining seven holes in one over and slipped one behind Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and Argentina’s Andres Romero, the leaders in the clubhouse midway through the day..
After injuring his back last month during the US PGA, his first major in America,
the 6ft 5in Wood has been working hard on his fitness.
“It’s only going to help me and it’s got to be done – my goals are long-term,” Wood said.
“I’ve had two 12-hour days here and I got a little bit tired towards the end I think.”
This is the first qualifying event for next year’s match against the Americans at Celtic Manor and even at 45 Jimenez has ambitions to keep his place in Europe’s team.
He and Romero, back from the States after failing to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs, were playing partners and had 11 birdies between them.
Jimenez had the edge in that department, but also had the only dropped shot at the difficult short 16th.
Wood was the only player to birdie that all morning, holing a 20-footer, and standing on the tee at the driveable seventh, his 16th, he had hopes of regaining top spot.
But his hand came off the club as he went for the green and he admitted he was lucky to avoid the out of bounds and find the ball. It did result in a bogey five, however.
Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, joint third in the US PGA, were among the late starters and McIlroy, needing to win to go top of the European money list, got off to a real flyer.
The 20-year-old Northern Irishman, who missed an 18-inch putt in losing a play-off a year ago, might have expected to birdie the par-five opener, but holing his approach to the 437-yard second for an eagle two was a real bonus.
McIlroy was immediately only three off the pace, while Westwood also birdied the first.
Graeme McDowell, another member of Nick Faldo’s team last year, was round in 68, one better than playing partner Darren Clarke.

Latest