Wood eyeing Augusta from Dubai

1/30/2013 9:35:07 AM
Chris Wood   (Getty Images)
Chris Wood (Getty Images)

Chris Wood, The European Tour’s most recent champion, has his sights set on playing in the Masters Tournament and wants to continue his fine form at this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

The Englishman claimed his maiden European Tour title in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on Saturday, finishing in style with an eagle at the final hole for a one-shot victory.

The win lifted Wood to 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking, and now he is focusing on moving up another ten places between now and April to earn a place in the field for the season’s first Major Championship.

“I’ve watched the Masters since I was about five years old,” said Wood, who played at Augusta National in 2010 courtesy of his tied third place finish in The Open Championship the year before.

“It’s the first Major of the season and it's the one that everyone wants to play in. So the Masters is the one on the horizon at the moment. That will be the first thing, to try to get into that.

“We have a good field this week so there's more World Ranking points available.”

Wood’s closing eagle in Qatar denied victory for George Coetzee and Sergio Garcia, who the 25 year old admits was one of his idols as a junior.

“I used to keep a notebook to take note of every lesson, and I had stickers of two players stuck in the back of the book - one was Tiger (Woods) and one was Garcia,” he said. “I remember watching Sergio on the putting green at The Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 2002 and hoping that I could be like that one day. So to beat him by one last week was pretty satisfying! I don't know him well enough to tell him that though.”

His victory drew praise from far and wide, and he added: “Gary Player sent me a Tweet. I didn't see it at first but then my mate texted me to tell me so I got online and saw it.

“It just said congratulations on your first win, there should be many more to come. And he is now following me on Twitter which is pretty surreal really.”