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Wood saves best for last in Qatar

Englishman Chris Wood says a big weight has been lifted off his shoulders after winning Qatar Masters by one-shot.
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2013 16:29
Wood of England celebrates after his eagle putt on final hole which prevented a playoff for the title [AP]

Chris Wood stroked in an eagle on the last hole to win his first European Tour title in spectacular style at the 2.5 million dollar Qatar Masters on Saturday.
 
Amid great tension and drama, the 25-year-old Englishman who needed two birdies over the final four holes, held his nerve to shoot a 69 and beat George Coetzee and Sergio Garcia for a one-shot victory at Doha Golf Club.

Wood finished on 18 under-par 270 edging Garcia and Coetzee who both carded an aggregate of 271 and were hoping to go into a playoff before the decisive eagle upset their plans.

England's Steve Webster and Sweden's Alexander Noren finished in joint third place four shots down on 275.

Wood became only the second player to win the Qatar Masters having made an eagle three on the final hole of regulation play, following Retief Goosen in 2007.

"There's an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders today," he said.

"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."

Patiently waiting

Wood did win the Thailand Open last August for his first professional success, but is mostly remembered for failing to deliver when it matters, including at the 2010 BMW PGA Championship with a closing 77 and the 2011 Iberdrola Open with a 76 after leading by four shots going into the final round.

"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!"

"Blimey, I've seen a few mates picking up trophies and I've been waiting patiently for my time... I felt like I was due to win for a couple of years"

Winner Chris Wood

Victory came the hard way for Wood. On the par-three third, he hit his tee-shot to the right of the green into the desert scrub. 

Faced with a stone wall surrounding the green, he hit his chip into the top of the wall and ball bounced back to Wood's right.

And with his third shot further back from the wall, he chipped the ball over the wall past the flag and two putted.

Joint runner-up Garcia was happy for Wood.

Of course, fantastic three shots. Hit a great drive and a great 6 iron and then a wonderful putt. So happy for him," said Garcia.

"Obviously he's been trying for a while and he deserves it, and you know, after the start he had today, it's quite impressive for him to come back the way he did and win. So I gave it my best effort."

The Spaniard regretted his lacklustre start in the fourth round.

"Yeah, obviously the last ten or 11 holes was good. The first six holes, I didn't feel great with my swing and you could see it," he said.

But the way I played those last 11 or 12 holes in windy conditions, it was pretty good, so happy about that."

Coetzee, who was five shots off the pace when play began, stroked in an eagle on the 10th to take the outright lead before Wood caught up with him with a birdie on the ninth.

Coetzee, who was also chasing his first European Tour title, was left ruing his luck once again, although his superb 65 helped him finish in the top 10 for the 21st time.

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Source:
AFP
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