Mon, Jan 28, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Wood wins his first European title with spectacular eagle

Reuters, DOHA

England’s Chris Wood said he felt a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders after he recorded his first European Tour victory at the Qatar Masters on Saturday thanks to a superb eagle on the 18th green.

The 25-year-old Englishman started the final hole a shot behind Spain’s Sergio Garcia and South African George Coetzee, who had set the clubhouse target at 17-under-par, but a 12-foot putt at the par-five 18th handed him a one-stroke victory.

Wood, who fired a majestic six-iron from 202 yards following a booming drive at the last to set up the eagle chance, came home with a three-under 69, while Garcia (66) and Coetzee (65) had to settle for joint-second.

Sweden’s Alexander Noren (71) and England’s Steve Webster (68) finished four strokes further back on 13-under.

Since he burst onto the scene in 2008, the 1.96m Englishman has finished second three times, although he won last year’s Thailand Open on the OneAsia Tour.

Wood had played 115 previous European events without a win and two years ago, he squandered a four-shot 54-hole lead at the Iberdrola Open in Mallorca as 2011 British Open champion Darren Clarke won the trophy.

In Qatar, Wood was again in danger of letting a lead slip, when his three-shot third-round advantage evaporated as he ran up a double bogey at the par-three third hole after a mishit chip.

Wood’s ball hit a brick wall supporting the raised green and bounced back over his head into desert scrubland.

Wood produced a sublime chip at the difficult par-four 15th to save par and although he let two good birdie opportunities slip at 16 and 17, his eagle at 18 for the victory led to a flood of messages of support.

Farmers Insurance

AFP, LA JOLLA, California

Tiger Woods’ pursuit of yet another title at Torrey Pines was put on hold on Saturday, as fog disrupted the third round of the US PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods, hoping to build on a two-stroke overnight lead, never even got on the course, and officials said they expect the US$6.1 million tournament to finish today.

The start of the round was delayed for three hours, then suspended after five minutes as fog off the Pacific Ocean rolled in again just after the first groups had teed off at the first and 10th holes of Torrey’s South Course.

“There is nothing we can do about it,” Mark Russell, vice president of rules and competition for the US tour, said. “Hopefully, it gets better and we can play some golf.”

That did not happen, and after keeping the players on tap through the afternoon just in case the fog lifted, officials at last announced that the third round would resume yesterday at 7am.

Although 87 players made the halfway cut, there will be no 54-hole cut.

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