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Tuesday, 06 March 2018
Andrew Johnston  (Getty Images)
Andrew Johnston (Getty Images)

Andrew Johnston and Chris Wood have travelled the globe and seen many wonderful sights on the European Tour and they will be seeing some more this week when they make their debuts at the Hero Indian Open.

Taking in 30 countries across four continents, the Race to Dubai has beome a truly global spectacle, giving golfers the chance to not only test their skills against the world's best but to see parts of the planet they would not normally see.

India, New Delhi and DLF Golf and Country Club are an entirely new experience for Johnston and Wood, and the English duo are enjoying their time on the subcontinent.

"Playing in Europe, well, you’re actually playing worldwide," said Johnston.

"You’ll go to the PGA Tour and they’ll have the LA swing, the Florida swing and the travel is so easy but, every week is going to be pretty much the same. Whereas in Europe, you’re going to different places and seeing more of the world.

"To come over to India, it’s something amazing. You get to play a different golf course with a totally different aspect of play.

"It’s not like going from Texas to South Carolina. You’re going from Australia, to India, to Oman, to Malaysia. So to see different parts of the world is absolutely amazing and we’re lucky that we get to travel and see so much.

"Everyone has been really helpful. When we got out, the airport transfer was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. We had a real good chat on the way from the airport to the hotel.

"I went straight in and ordered the vegetable biryani for breakfast or lunch, I’m not sure which. We’ll call it brunch. I loved it."

To come over to India, it’s something amazing. You get to play a different golf course with a totally different aspect of play - Andrew Johnston

Wood's three European Tour wins have come in three different countries and he, much like the man they call Beef, is enjoying taking in the sights of the Indian capital.

"It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to come to," he said. "We’re lucky that we go all around the world and play all of these different golf courses.

"It’s amazing. When I go out for dinner this week, I’ll just jump in a tuk tuk. I love doing all that sort of thing. Just seeing a bit of the city really. You hear so many things about India that you just want to experience, so now that I’m here for a few days I really want to try to do that."

Away from the sights and sounds of the city, Wood will be all business on the course as he takes on the notoriously diffcult challenge of DLF Golf and Country Club.

The 2016 Ryder Cup star arrives off the back of two encouraging weeks in Oman and Qatar and while the Beast from the East has meant his preparations at home have not been ideal, he arrives as one of the favourites this week.

"We had six or eight inches of snow last week," he said. "Preparation wasn’t great, but I managed to hit six or seven hundred balls over a few days. I’ll have to tighten up the short game this week. 

"We’ve got a one year old boy and it was the first time he had seen snow, so to take him out for a bit of tobogganing was good fun. Golf-wise it wasn’t ideal."

For Johnston, the ambition this week and for the rest of the season is clear: get a second European Tour victory and get back into the upper echelons of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex after finishing 116th last season.

"I want to try to win again," he said. "I want to be in the top 60 to play in the final Race to Dubai tournaments.

"I played well at the start of the year so I’ve just got to keep that going and keep working hard because I’ve played really well the first couple of months."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WALLACE, MattENG18-11
2JOHNSTON, AndrewENG18-11
3KIM, SihwanUSA18-8
T4LARRAZÁBAL, PabloESP18-7
T4SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-7
6GRILLO, EmilianoARG18-5

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