Chris Wood’s stunning approach to the final green at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters has earned the Englishman top spot in what was a hotly-contested European Tour Shot of the Month for January.
The winning shot claimed just over 27 per cent of the public vote, selected by fans of My European Tour.
Needing to make a birdie at the par five 18th at Doha Golf Club in order to force a three-man play-off with George Coetzee and Sergio Garcia, Wood went one better thanks to a pin-point accurate six iron approach from 202 yards which pitched on the front of the green and rolled to 12 feet from the flag.
Wood duly dispatched the eagle putt to claim his maiden European Tour title in the most dramatic of climaxes, made all the sweeter by the three runner-up finishes and 19 top tens that had preceded it.
After those near-misses, the Bristolian admitted he had avoided looking at any leaderboards throughout the final round despite starting with a three-shot overnight lead in the Qatari capital, but after striking a sensational 320-yard drive down the middle of the fairway, three words from his caddy alerted him to the importance of his next shot in the outcome of the tournament.
“After that tee shot, it was such a good yardage for me being just a six iron away, and in the situation I could afford take it on,” Wood reflected. “Brenden said to me, ‘Straight at it’, and that told me that I needed an eagle to win; although I didn't properly know it at the time I just had a feeling and it was amazing that I managed to get it right.
“It's up there [with my best shots], obviously, to win a tournament. I had in the back of my mind to just let my swing go and no matter how it feels, trust the swing, commit to it and I hit a really good shot there.”
Wood overcame stiff opposition from Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher, who had a trio of entries from his triumph at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic the following week – a treble that combined polled more than 55 per cent of the vote.
Second in the vote with almost 22 per cent was Gallacher’s wonderful eagle from 110 yards on the 16th at Emirates Golf Club in the final round of the Desert Classic, a perfect approach that all but rubber-stamped his first European Tour title in more than eight years, while his miraculous escape from the trees at the ninth in the same round finished third with 20 per cent of the vote.
Wood’s approach is the first shot to go forward to The 2013 Shot of the Year competition as the 25 year old looks to emulate South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, whose incredible albatross on the second hole at Augusta National Golf Club in the final round of the Masters Tournament was voted The 2012 European Tour Shot of the Year.
One My European Tour fan who voted for the winning shot has won a £100 voucher for The European Tour Shop. The February Shot of the Month competition will start shortly with more fantastic shots from the last few weeks.