Qatar Masters 2013
Chris Wood seals maiden European Tour win
January 26, 2013
Inspired by Tiger Woods, towering Englishman Chris Wood sank a pressure-packed eagle putt on the last hole to win the US$2.5 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and record his maiden European Tour victory.
Wood, overnight leader by three, closed with a 69 for an 18-under-par total of 270, one stroke ahead of Spanish star Sergio Garcia (66) and South African George Coetzee (65) at Doha Golf Club.
Englishman Steve Webster (68) and Sweden’s Alexander Noren (71) shared fourth at 13-under, one ahead of English duo Simon Khan (72) and Anthony Wall (69), and South African Branden Grace (71).
American star Jason Dufner (69), the World Number 11, and Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer were among a large group tied for ninth at 11-under. World Number Four Justin Rose (68) was a shot back in a share of 16th, two strokes ahead of World Number Five Louis Oosthuizen (72).
Wood, 25, was a shot behind Garcia and Coetzee as he played the 18th, where the tee had been put forward 55 yards from Friday. The six-foot five-inch, Bristol-born Wood let rip with his drive, then stuck a six-iron from 200 yards to 12 feet before sinking the eagle putt to secure a long-awaited title after 19 top-10 finishes on The European Tour.
"I couldn’t really feel my hands at the time. It was one chance and I knew that was all I was going to get. You don’t get many if you’re in a playoff," said Wood, who punched the air in delight after the putt dropped. "Four years of frustration of not winning and it all came out a bit after the putt."
Wood, who won his first pro title at the Thailand Open last August, admitted 14-time Major winner Woods was an inspiration behind his aggressive approach shot.
"After that tee shot, it was such a good yardage for me and my caddie told me to go straight at it and that told me I needed an eagle to win," said Wood, who has had three runner-up finishes since 2011, most recently at the Sicilian Open last April.
"Before I hit the approach, I remember watching Tiger hit a shot at a tournament a few years ago on 18, an eight iron to six feet and that was for his first win in a couple of years after he struggled. I watched quite a bit of that, and although he didn't play his best, his attitude was, I'm going to win this tournament whatever happens. That's one of his massive strengths," Wood said.
"I had that in the back of my mind, to just let my swing go and no matter how it feels, trust the swing, commit to it and I hit a really good shot there. I didn’t know the situation before that and only looked at the leaderboard for the first time before the putt at the last."
Wood, who had led by three after a third-round 64, started badly with a double bogey at the par-three third after he pushed his tee-shot right of the green into desert scrub. His chip bounced back off the top of a stone wall surrounding the green and after a second chip, he two putted.
After a birdie at five and a bogey at six, Wood lost the lead to Coetzee, playing four groups ahead, when the South African eagled 10. However, the Englishman bounced back with birdies at eight and nine and another at 14 to draw within one stroke of the two clubhouse leaders before his remarkable final hole.
"I've been knocking on the door in previous times and it's not happened," Wood said. "To get it today, to get my first win, it's such an honour to win. I'm so pleased."
Qatar Masters 2013 Final Scores