ENGLAND’S Chris Wood has always looked a very promising talent but he took an enormous stride at the weekend when he won his first European Tour title at the Qatar Masters.
Overnight leader Wood teed off at the par-five 18th needing a birdie to force a play-off. Instead he produced a great drive, a fine iron and holed a magnificent eagle to claim a one-shot victory.
The 25-year-old spoke of feeling a weight lift off his shoulders, having signalled his talent as an amateur and then gone close to winning European Tour titles over the past two years, and I think this could be huge for him.
Although we’ve known about his promise for a while, he’s progressed from a good amateur career to threatening to win and now winning relatively quickly – and has all the attributes to really kick on.
Wood has a fantastic swing and is very tall. He will only get stronger as he develops physically over the next 10 years, which, combined with his sound technique, should give him effortless power.
His emergence is more good news for European golf, as was the performance of Sergio Garcia in pushing Wood all the way in Qatar.
The Spaniard picked up two shots over the final three holes, and it was nice to see him play beautifully and putt so well.
Over in America, Tiger Woods wasted little time in recording his first win of 2013 by claiming the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last night. It’s worth remembering that the former world No1 finished last year with three titles, so winning is not his problem so much as winning Majors again.
Still, last night’s fog-delayed four-shot triumph, and 75th PGA Tour title, was a statement of intent.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam