Gareth Maybin had to settle for second best behind Chris Wood in the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year stakes.

Wood, who turns 22 on Thursday, was the highest ranked newcomer in the Race to Dubai standings, finishing in 44th place with earnings of €679,559.

Maybin was 53rd (€625,876) with England’s Danny Willett 58th and Sweden’s Oskar Henningsson 68th.

Henningsson was the only rookie to win a tournament, taking his maiden title at the Moravia Silesia Open in the Czech Republic.

However it was Wood’s brilliant performance in Open at Turnberry which effectively sealed the award, which is judged by The R&A, the Association of Golf Writers and The European Tour.

A year after finishing tied fifth at Royal Birkdale as an amateur, Wood went even better at Turnberry in July, missing out on a play-off by only one shot as he finished alongside eventual Race to Dubai champion, Lee Westwood, in third place.

That mature performance was one of five top ten finishes for Wood compared to six by Ballyclare man Maybin.

He was also top scorer in the Vivendi Trophy with Seve Ballesteros, claiming 4 ½ points out of a possible five.

Wood also climbed from 94th to 71st in the Official World Golf Ranking while Maybe has fallen from 90th to 126th.

Wood said: “It is brilliant to win this award. Looking at the list of names who have won this title makes me appreciate that I am in good company, alongside people like Sir Nick Faldo, who is probably the greatest English golfer to play the game. It’s great to see my name on the same list as Sir Nick and some of the more recent winners like Paul Casey, Nick Dougherty and Ian Poulter.

“I’ve had my eyes on winning the rookie crown all season, because it’s something you only ever get one chance to win. Fortunately I’ve been lucky enough to do it thanks to some good results like The Open and some pretty consistent finishes.”

Wood added: “I feel I’ve been able to step into the professional ranks quite easily. The experiences of Birkdale and Turnberry have helped and also getting my card at the Tour School at PGA Golf de Catalunya. Now I am closing in on the top 50 in the world and that must be a big goal in 2010. It opens a lot of doors to the Majors and the other top events where the best players are playing.

“Look at Martin Kaymer. He was Rookie of the Year two years ago and has just finished third in The Race to Dubai and must be a contender for the next Ryder Cup. That’s where I want to see myself in a few years time.”

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