After coming close in so many events previously, Chris Wood must have wondered at times if he was fated never to enter the winner’s enclosure, but with his breakthrough victory coming at the Thailand Open the Englishman hopes there are many more to come.
Wood burst onto the scene four years ago at The 2008 Open Championship, winning the silver medal at Royal Birkdale thanks to an impressive tied fifth finish on the Southport coast, before capturing the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award in 2009, the same year he made another fine performance at The Open where he came tied for third one shot outside a play-off at Turnberry.
The Bristolian narrowly missed out on his first European Tour victory at the Sicilian Open earlier this year as Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen bettered his 72 hole total by just one shot, and it wasn’t the first time Wood had left an event with the somewhat sour taste of a runners-up place.
Victory, then, by a two shot margin at Suwan Golf & Country Club, was particularly sweet for the 6ft 5inch West Country man.
“It is a massive sense of relief winning for first time,” said the thrilled 24 year old. “I have finished second three times on The European Tour so to finally get a trophy in my hands as a professional is brilliant.
“I am really, really pleased; 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 shot a final round 67 to capture the US$181,000 first prize, and afterwards he paid tribute to the influence of both his coach and the advice of a former top professional with an impeccable short game.
“Last year I struggled a bit with my bunker play,” Wood continued. “Tony Johnstone gave me a few tips on my bunker play at the start of this season and that has helped me a lot along with the practice I have been doing with my coach at home Paul Mitchell, so I think I have been working on the right things in my game.”
Currently sitting in 44th in The Race to Dubai, Wood will hope his South-east Asian triumph is the catalyst for further success this season but first he has earned himself some R&R.
“I am going home for a week, a bit of rest, share it with my family and then onto Gleneagles in Scotland for a tournament.”
Well done Woody, a wonderful win.