Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Wood Wins Welsh Title By Six Strokes

England international Chris Wood extended his already glowing list of successes with victory in the Welsh Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Conwy.

English players filled the top five places with Wood (pictured - photo courtesy of Tom Ward) producing two stunning rounds on the final day to take the title by six strokes from England team-mate Sam Hutsby and by eight from Jamie Abbott from Suffolk, another England Elite squad member.

Wood finished on 289, one over par, after closing with 69 and 71, while Hutsby shot 76 and 77.

Trailing long-time leader Hutsby by seven shots at five over par going into the final 36 holes, Wood fired a superb 69, the only player among the surviving 45 to beat par, to take the lead.

A fierce wind and driving rain hit the North Wales course in the afternoon but it didn’t faze Wood who continued to stretch his lead, his closing 71 being a wonderful effort in the conditions.

Having started with rounds of 74 and 75, the Bristol golfer showed improved play on the greens and even a triple bogey seven on the 72nd hole proved no handicap.

“I putted much better today,” said 20 year old Wood, winner of last season’s PING/EGU Order of Merit. “I stayed pretty patient all the way around. My swing felt good and playing with Gary Wolstenholme kept me relaxed. This is the biggest event I’ve won so I may take a few days off now.”

Hutsby led by one from Oscar Sharpe and Welsh Walker Cup player Nigel Edwards after an opening 67 and was still one clear from Edwards after a second day 75 achieved in extremely windy conditions.

Leading final scores:
289 C Wood (Long Ashton) 74 75 69 71
295 S Hutsby (Liphook) 67 75 76 77
297 J Abbott (Fynn Valley) 70 80 74 73
299 M Armitage (Howley Hall) 71 82 68 78
301 R Brown (Worksop) 76 73 73 79