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January 26, 2013

Chris Wood


SARAH GWYNN: Congratulations Chris on winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, just sum up how you’re feeling right now.
CHRIS WOOD:  It feels amazing. It’s a dream come true. I've been knocking on the door a few times and it's not happened.  To get it today, to get my first win, it's such an honor to win.  It certainly felt‑‑ I'm so pleased.
SARAH GWYNN:   Finishes don’t come much better than that, what was going through your head on the last hole?
CHRIS WOOD:  Well, I didn't know the situation. I didn't look at any leaderboards.  And then we looked for the first time before I hit the putt at the last. You don't get many chances in a play-off, so I knew that was my chance. And I took it.

SARAH GWYNN: You must be very proud of the way you came back from a bit of a nightmare start?
       CHRIS WOOD: Yeah definitely. And I missed a four footer for birdie on the second as well. On the third  I tried to get it up and over the wall but it ricocheted back and it turned out to be a good five. That actually settled me down a bit, surprisingly. It turned out to be quite a good fight.  I gave myself quite a few chances after that.

Q.  What did you hit into the 18th?
CHRIS WOOD:  Six‑iron.  After that tee shot, it was such a good yardage for me, six‑iron away, and the situation I could take it on.  Branden said to me, “Straight at it” and that told me thatI needed an eagle to win, and I didn't know it at the time but just had a feeling and amazing how I could get that right.

Q.  Was that the best shot you’ve ever played?
CHRIS WOOD:  To be honest, it's up there, obviously, to win a tournament, I would say in the back of my mind, before I hit that shot, I remember watching Tiger hit a shot at a tournament a few years ago on 18, an 8‑iron to six feet and that was for his first win.  He struggled that day and I watched quite a bit of that, and he didn't play his best but his attitude was, I'm going to win this tournament whatever happens.
That's one of his massive strengths.  I had that in the back of my mind to just let my swing go and no matter how it feels, trust the swing, commit to it and I hit a really good shot there.

Q.  How important was winning in Thailand at the end of last year?
CHRIS WOOD:  Massive.  Obviously it didn't quite have the profile of a European Tour event, but a win is a win for me, still have to go through the emotions, sleeping on the lead going into the final day; the thought of, if this guy does that, I've got to do this.
You've got to block all that out.  It was a great practice for me there to help me win today.  Otherwise I might not have won today if I had not won in Thailand.  That was massive for me.

Q.  When did you get to sleep?
CHRIS WOOD:  I probably went to sleep about midnight and woke up probably three, four, five, six, didn't want to know what was going on‑‑ I didn't want to get too carried away, yet there's still 18 holes to go and I knew I was having a lot of support from all of the text messages, which a couple of them woke me up at one o'clock in the morning.  But yeah, felt all right.  A little gym session before I came to the course, felt good.

Q.  Did you think after the double bogey it wasn’t going to be your day?
CHRIS WOOD:  A little bit.  But I always knew however I played today, I was always going to stick in there and be there or thereabouts.  You know, if you're not quite on your game, that's all you can try and do, and it was a little bit of a kick in the balls, but I think it settled me down a little bit.  After that, I played a little bit better.

Q.  Have you ever doubted whether if you’ve got what it takes to win?
CHRIS WOOD:  A little bit.  But I've got such a great team at home in Bristol helping me do the right things and I'm doing the right things. I've been with my trainer for 12 and a half years and my trainer has been with me since I was 14.
So they know me better than anyone apart from obviously my parents and girlfriend, but around me I have a load of good people and a lot of good friends.  They see me playing at home and knowing full well that I'm good enough to win, but until you do it, that's in the back of your mind.

Q.  You’re now in the top 60 in the world which will get you into the big events?
CHRIS WOOD:  Yeah, on MondayI’ll find out exactly where but if I can put in a good week in Dubai next week I should break in to the top 60 or 65. I got to about 65th or something a couple of years ago, but since then I’ve had all the problems with my back and I’ve struggled a little bit. But I always knew that I would be getting back just in my own time and I'm absolutely desperate for it.  Yeah, it definitely opens the door to a few more things and now I can set a couple of different targets for the next few months.

Q.  You must know only too well how George Coetzee feels to just miss out?
CHRIS WOOD:  Yeah, I’ve got to know George a little bit through the same ISM management stable, and we have the same sponsor, as well, and I know how he feels.  He's come close a couple of times like I have, so it won't be long before he wins.

Q.  What's next?
CHRIS WOOD:  I have a golf day for my sponsors tomorrow in Dubai. I might try and move the tee time back a little bit.

Q.  What’s your usual day at home?
CHRIS WOOD:  At home?  Usually an early gym session, 7:00AM, then up to the golf club, four or five hours practice, and gets too cold back in England, but I usually do five, six hours.
SARAH GWYNN:   Chris, well done again.

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