Wood on fast track in Germany
Driving a £650,000 car capable of 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds has helped make it a memorable week for Chris Wood.
Experiencing the power of a £650,000 car capable of going from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds has made it a memorable week already for rising English golf star Chris Wood.
But the 21-year-old hopes the best part of his trip to Cologne is still to come.
Wood, joint third with Lee Westwood in The Open in July after both bogeyed the last hole, shared the lead with Australian Scott Strange entering the third round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Gut Larchenhof.
The sponsors arranged a visit to their test track for Wood and others after Thursday’s opening round and he said: “It beats practising for the afternoon.”
As well as being able to drive some of their high-performance models he sat in the passenger seat when one of the company’s racing team demonstrated the McLaren SLR Stirling Moss special edition car.
Unveiled at the Detroit Auto show earlier this year, only 75 have been produced and it is capable of 200mph.
“The track was not long enough to get it up to that, but taking the corners at speed was just great.”
Wood now turns his attention back to his bid for a first European Tour title – and to trying to keep a bogey off his card.
He is halfway to becoming just the third player in the history of the circuit to go through a tournament without dropping a shot.
The pressure is bound to build, but Wood is lapping that up.
“Fortunately I’ve had two great experiences of being up there in a major. This year I really had a chance to win one and you’re not going to get much more pressure than that.
“I love being in front of crowds and on TV. When you are playing well you almost feel you can show off a bit – not in an arrogant way, but you feel you are taking centre stage.
“That’s why you are putting in all the work. As long as I keep putting myself in position I know a win is going to happen – hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Strange broke his Tour duck at last year’s Wales Open and this season has added the China Open to earn himself a place in next month’s elite 16-man field for the Volvo world Match Play in Spain.
One stroke behind are Wood’s fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, who led The Masters and The Open this year and was right in the thick of things too at the US Open, South African James Kingston and Ryder Cup Dane Soren Hansen.
Winner of the title two years ago, Hansen was out in front until double-bogeying the final hole yesterday.
The only comfort he could draw from that was that he also drove in the lake at the end of his second round in 2007 and went on to triumph by four.
However, there was a difference. He got away with a bogey five on that occasion and still had the lead.
ALL THE SECOND ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):
135 Chris Wood 66 69, Scott Strange (Aus) 67 68
136 James Kingston (RSA) 67 69, Ross Fisher 67 69, Soren Hansen (Den) 65 71
137 David Drysdale 67 70, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 70 67, Graeme Storm 69 68
138 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 69 69, Peter Hanson (Swe) 70 68, Anders Hansen (Den) 70 68, Simon Dyson 68 70, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 70 68
139 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 68 71, Anthony Wall 69 70, Paul Lawrie 68 71, Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) 71 68, Lee Westwood 70 69
140 Marcel Siem (Ger) 70 70, Scott Drummond 71 69, Darren Clarke 70 70, Paul McGinley 72 68
141 Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 69 72, Felipe Aguilar (Chi) 72 69, Richard Finch 69 72, Colin Montgomerie 72 69, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 71 70, Thomas Levet (Fra) 70 71
142 Graeme McDowell 70 72, Danny Willett 72 70, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 70 72, Alex Cejka (Ger) 70 72, Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa) 74 68, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 71 71, Anthony Kang (USA) 71 71, Robert Rock 70 72, Markus Brier (Aut) 69 73
143 Christian Cevaer (Fra) 71 72, Rodney Pampling (Aus) 71 72, Thomas Aiken (RSA) 74 69, Steve Webster 76 67, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 70 73, Alexander Noren (Swe) 71 72, Stephen Dodd 69 74, Tano Goya (Arg) 74 69, Oskar Henningsson (Swe) 73 70, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 73 70
144 Damien McGrane 72 72, Hennie Otto (RSA) 73 71, Trevor Immelman (RS) 70 74, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 74, Jamie Donaldson 74 70
145 Christian Nilsson (Swe) 69 76, David Howell 71 74, Nick Dougherty 69 76, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 69 76, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 72 73, Florian Fritsch (Ger) 74 71
146 Bernhard Langer (Ger) 71 75, Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 72 74
147 Shane Lowry 75 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 76 71, John Bickerton 74 73, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 75 72
148 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 76 72, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 76
149 Gareth Maybin 76 73, Alastair Forsyth 74 75, Gregory Havret (Fra) 77 72, Johan Edfors (Swe) 78 71
150 Kenneth Ferrie 72 78, Mark Brown (Nzl) 75 75
151 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 78 73
152 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 77 75
153 Michael Hoey 76 77
154 Jeppe Huldahl (Den) 76 78
156 Michael Campbell (Nzl) 77 79
160 Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind) 79 81
Rory McIlroy claims 20th PGA title with victory in CJ Cup
The Northern Irishman put his Ryder Cup torment behind him to win by a stroke from Collin Morikawa.
Matt Fitzpatrick responds to Ryder Cup disappointment with Andalucia Masters win
The Yorkshireman was bogey-free in the final round at the notoriously difficult Valderrama.
Rory McIlroy two shots off the lead after sizzling 62 in Las Vegas
The Northern Irishman shot his lowest score since 2019 to take second place heading into the final round.
Rory McIlroy looking to kick on after emotional Ryder Cup
McIlroy broke down in tears in a rare show of emotion in Wisconsin.
Jon Rahm keen to win at Valderrama for ‘historic reasons and nostalgia’
The Spaniard is hoping to perform on home soil.
‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Phil Mickelson criticises club length restriction
The R&A and USGA have brought in a ‘model local rule’ to limit all clubs other than putters to a maximum of 46 inches.
Top-level golf tournaments to be given option of imposing limit on club length
This could curb the big-hitting likes of Bryson DeChambeau in their continual quest for greater length off the tee.
THE CJ CUP: Vegas links that could help us hit the jackpot this week
The PGA Tour remains in Las Vegas this week and several players in the field have some home advantage which could prove significant.
Betting preview: Sam Burns to continue impressive form in the Shriners Children’s Open
The PGA Tour heads to Las Vegas this week and Planet Sport tipster Jack Kelliher has four selections for the tournament.