Polished Wood claims maiden victory

8/12/2012 1:26:44 PM
Chris Wood  (Getty Images)
Chris Wood (Getty Images)
Englishman Chris Wood scored the first win of his professional career on Sunday with a two shot victory in the Thailand Open.

The 24 year old broke the hearts of home fans seeking a first Thai champion in eight years with a closing 67 for a 23 under par total at Suwan Golf & Country Club.

Local favourites Arnond Vongvanij (65) and Wisut Artjanawat (67) battled to catch Wood – who has amassed 17 top ten finishes on The European Tour without winning - but had to settle for a share of third place with Korean Lee Dong-hwan (67).

Alone in second was Jang Dong-kyu, also of Korea, who completed the first nine holes in just 29 shots en-route to a closing 63 and the best result of his career.

"It is brilliant – I am really, really pleased,"  Wood said, after what appeared to be a victory march from the 17th was interrupted by a rain delay of over an hour.

"It is hard winning. I always felt that once I got one win it would give me the confidence to go on and win more, so hopefully I can take this confidence back to the remainder of the tournaments I have got for the season."

Wood, one of five European Tour regulars competing in the event, was four under after six holes on Sunday, but gave his rivals a glimmer of hope with a bogey on the eighth.

At the 11th, however, he put one hand on the winner's cheque of over US$181,000 with a birdie putt of around 30 feet; and then effectively pocketed it with an even longer effort on 15.

"It was a tough putt, but I putted really nicely this week," he said.

"I think I have turned the corner in my putting which has let me down all season. I have been playing as well as I have done this week but without converting chances. It is nice to convert a few. I always knew once I cracked the putting I would be winning and this week proved my point."