When Chris Wood arrived in Doha three years ago for the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, he was 142nd in the Official World Golf Ranking having played the bridesmaid on the European Tour a number of times. His enthralling victory here changed everything, and this year he arrives as a firm fixture in the world’s top 50.
“Without a doubt it was one of the best shots of my career” - Chris Wood
It was a spectator’s dream, it was a sponsor’s dream and most pertinently, it was a dream finish for Wood as the towering Englishman showed nerves of steel, delicately teasing a 12-ft putt into the cup for a spectacular closing eagle.
What a finish, and what a celebration…
Suddenly, that all-important top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking – and with it entry to the game’s elite tournaments – was within touching distance.
While a dip in form and a wrist injury temporarily set Wood back in his quest to reach the highest echelons of the game, a third-placed finish at the opening event of this European Tour season, the Nedbank Golf Challenge, moved him inside the mark for the first time in his career.
Chris Wood's World Ranking before and after his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters victory, and his current position
Wood, who added a second title last year at the Lyoness Open Powered by Greenfinity, remembers his maiden victory with great fondness:
“This is a huge event for us, all these three events in the desert are massive, great for the tour. For me, it was a great time to win. It sets up your whole season, so I’d love to pick up the trophy here for a second time.
“Time passes really quickly on tour and it’s been three years since that victory. It’s nice to come back and that 18th hole is always going to be special to me so I’m looking forward to getting out there.
“Without a doubt that second shot into 18 was one of the best shots of my life, as pure a six iron as I can get. To pull it off when I really needed to was brilliant.”
Wood is not the only player to have used victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters as a launchpad for greater things:
After putting his name alongside compatriot and inaugural Qatar Masters winner Andrew Coltart on the Mother of Pearl trophy in 1999, Lawrie went on to win a little thing called The Open Championship…
The Australian is a two-time winner in Qatar. We think it’s safe to say he’s done alright since then…
This year’s defending champion was 79th in the world before his fifth European Tour victory in Doha. He’s now 11th. #enoughsaid