Wood eagles last to become Qatar hero

Chris Wood punches the air after holing the eagle putt that gave him a one-stroke win in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Picture Stuart Adams www.golftourimages.com/www.golffile.ieShane Lowry was one of the first to tweet his congratulations to pal Chris Wood after the lanky Englishman brilliantly eagled the final hole to win his maiden European Tour title by one shot at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

“Well done @Chris3Wood Fantastic stuff. Long overdue. #firsteuropeantourwin,” Lowry wrote from Dubai, where he is preparing for next week’s Desert Classic and his continued assault on the world’s top 50.

The 6 ft 5 inch Bristol native won the first professional title of his career last August when he captured the OneAsia Tour’s Thailand Open.

At the time he said: “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…”

He had hoped to get a win on the European Tour before the end of last season but managed just a pair of top-10 finishes in Singapore and Hong Kong before finally getting over the line in spectacular fashion in a Saturday finish at Doha Golf Club.

Chris Wood with the trophy in Qatar. Picture courtesy Getty ImagesNeeding a birdie at the par-five 18th to force a play-off with clubhouse leaders George Coetzee of South Africa and Spaniard Sergio Garcia on 17 under par, Wood went one better to claim the Mother of Pearl trophy.

After a booming a huge drive down the middle, he hit a towering six-iron approach from 202 yards to just 10 feet and punched the air as eagle putt toppled into the cup

Having led by three shots at the start of the day, Wood was under pressure early on when he double bogeyed the third, but his three under par 69 was ultimately enough to hold off Coetzee, who signed for a 65, and Garcia, who birdied the last for a 66.

“It feels amazing,” said the 25 year old, who earned €310,917 for the victory. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been knocking on the door for a while and come close a few times and it’s not happened.

“I didn’t know the situation when I was on the 18th fairway, but luckily I’d hit a great drive and I had the perfect yardage for a six iron. I knew I had to just let my swing go and trust it. It’s up there as one of the best shots I’ve ever played, because it was to win a tournament.

“When I was stood over the eagle putt I knew that was my chance. You don’t get many chances in a play-off, so that was my chance to win and I took it.

“The double bogey actually settled me down a bit. After that I played a little better.”

American Ryder Cup player Jason Dufner finished tied ninth after a final round 69, alongside German Major winner Martin Kaymer, while Englishman Justin Rose took a share of 16th spot.

Damien McGrane up against it at the 18th green in Doha. He took a drop and made his par-five. Photo Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.ieDamien McGrane finished nine strokes behind the winner in joint 22nd place following a closing 69 to earn €18,002 while Peter Lawrie (69) and Michael Hoey (70) tied for 42nd on five under to earn €10,260.

Ballyclare’s Gareth Maybin, who will become a father for the first time later this year, made four birdies in seven holes coming down the stretch as he carded a 69 to share 49th on four under and earn €7,108.

Chris Wood - With This Win

  • His first European Tour International Schedule victory in his 116th European Tour event.
  • Moves to fourth in The Race to Dubai with €314,598.
  • Moves into the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking, from 142nd.
  • His victory beats his previous best European Tour performances of second in the 2011 Iberdrola Open and the 2012 Sicilian Open. He was also tied second in the 2011 Africa Open.
  • Becomes the second first-time winner of the 2013 season, following Scott Jamieson (Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa).
  • Victory comes in his fourth appearance in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
  • Beats his previous best performance in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters of tied 14th in 2010.
  • Is the third time he has led going into the final round of a European Tour event, but is the first time he has won. The first two were the 2010 BMW PGA Championship and the 2011 Iberdrola Open. He finished tied sixth in the BMW PGA Championship and second in the Iberdrola Open.
  • Is the first Englishman to win the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.
  • Before this victory he had amassed a total of 19 top ten finishes on The European Tour since 2008.
  • Joins Andrew Coltart (1998) and Rolf Muntz (2000) as players making the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters their first European Tour victory.

Final scores

270 C Wood (Eng) 67 70 64 69,

271 G Coetzee (RSA) 69 67 70 65, S Garcia (Esp) 69 66 70 66,

275 A Noren (Swe) 71 67 66 71, S Webster (Eng) 69 71 67 68,

276 B Grace (RSA) 70 68 67 71, A Wall (Eng) 66 71 70 69, S Khan (Eng) 67 73 64 72,

277 J Dufner (USA) 71 70 67 69, M Kaymer (Ger) 68 67 72 70, A Sullivan (Eng) 67 71 74 65, M Ilonen (Fin) 71 69 68 69, F Aguilar (Chi) 69 67 73 68, T Jaidee (Tha) 70 69 70 68, V Dubuisson (Fra) 68 72 68 69,

278 P Meesawat (Tha) 71 71 68 68, G Fdez-Castaño (Esp) 69 70 70 69, H Stenson (Swe) 70 69 69 70, J Rose (Eng) 68 71 71 68, M Campbell (Nzl) 68 68 68 74, G Lockerbie (Eng) 67 69 71 71,

279 T Aiken (RSA) 71 68 71 69, T Olesen (Den) 68 68 70 73, P Hanson (Swe) 68 73 68 70, J Kruger (RSA) 70 68 68 73, D Howell (Eng) 69 73 68 69, R Santos (Por) 65 70 76 68, M Manassero (Ita) 69 72 71 67, Damien McGrane (Irl) 68 72 70 69, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 72 72 64, B Rumford (Aus) 67 73 69 70, L Gagli (Ita) 68 71 69 71, M Fraser (Aus) 68 67 71 73,

280 J Sjöholm (Swe) 69 72 70 69, L Oosthuizen (RSA) 71 69 68 72, A Kaleka (Fra) 66 71 73 70,

281 D Horsey (Eng) 68 72 72 69, P Casey (Eng) 70 68 72 71, T Fleetwood (Eng) 72 71 68 70,

282 G Mulroy (RSA) 69 68 71 74, R Green (Aus) 68 73 68 73,

283 M Siem (Ger) 72 71 72 68, B Wiesberger (Aut) 70 72 71 70, A Hansen (Den) 68 71 70 74, R Jacquelin (Fra) 73 67 69 74, M Foster (Eng) 71 71 72 69, Michael Hoey (Nir) 70 69 74 70, Peter Lawrie (Irl) 72 71 71 69,

284 D Drysdale (Sco) 72 71 71 70, M Lundberg (Swe) 72 67 72 73, T Hamilton (USA) 73 69 70 72, R Wattel (Fra) 72 70 69 73, A Hartø (Den) 68 69 71 76, Gareth Maybin (Nir) 72 71 72 69, P Whiteford (Sco) 66 73 72 73, S Chowrasia (Ind) 70 73 69 72, E Goya (Arg) 71 72 70 71, R Bland (Eng) 71 69 72 72,

285 F Zanotti (Par) 70 73 73 69, R Derksen (Ned) 71 69 73 72, T Lewis (Eng) 70 71 74 70, T Björn (Den) 72 69 70 74, S Gallacher (Sco) 72 71 69 73,

286 S Wakefield (Eng) 71 72 74 69, S Dyson (Eng) 71 72 72 71, J Gonnet (Fra) 71 72 71 72,

287 C Lee (Sco) 72 69 74 72, M Baldwin (Eng) 73 70 75 69,

288 G Havret (Fra) 70 69 74 75,

290 L Slattery (Eng) 70 73 75 72, S Henry (Sco) 69 74 72 75,

291 C Doak (Sco) 72 71 73 75,

293 E Els (RSA) 72 71 74 76,

295 P Waring (Eng) 73 69 76 77.

Missed the cut (143) 

148 Paul McGinley (Irl) 73 75