Rory McIlroy took another huge leap towards recapturing the form which made him famous on the golf course – with his lowest score in more than four years – a 9-under 63 while playing with Tiger Woods...
It can be done! Chris Wood confident of Qatar Masters title defence
Chris Wood's finest hour came at the Qatar Masters when he claimed a shock victory, and now he’s hoping to give pundits and bookmakers another headache by being the first player to mount a successful title defence.
The Qatar Masters marks the second leg of the European Tour’s three-part ‘Desert Swing’ and it’s also the place where Wood claimed his maiden European Tour victory 12 months ago after closing with a sublime eagle three to see off South African George Coetzee and Spaniard Sergio Garcia by a single stroke.
Buoyed by the opportunity to become the first player to secure the title for consecutive years, 25-year-old Wood said on euroupeantour.com: “There’s a lot more pressure on winning your first event on The European Tour than winning your second or third, so I was obviously very proud of how I handled that pressure.
“As soon as I arrived here, it brought back some great memories. Obviously my first win on The European Tour is always going to be special to me, and Qatar is going to always be up there as one of my favourite events.”
The Doha Golf Club’s fast and sloping greens have recently been re-laid; pair this with prevailing wind known locally as the Shamal and you’ve got some truly tough scoring conditions to tackle.
Wood added: “The wind can really blow here, certainly more than it does in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But I always seem to play well in the wind, so the harder it blows the better for me.
“The third round was the toughest day last year; the wind was definitely the strongest. I think I shot 64, something like that, which I think was the best score of the day and meant I went from being two or three shots behind at the start of the day, to three ahead at the end of the day.
“So that set me up for winning the tournament, and hopefully I can put myself in contention again this year.”