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Wood Wins Qatar Masters in Dramatic Fashion
England's Chris Wood eagled the 72nd hole at Doha Golf Club to win the Qatar Masters by a stroke. The victory was the first of his career on the European Tour.
On the par-5 closer, Wood - who began the last round with a three-stroke lead but trailed South African George Coetzee and Spaniard Sergio Garcia by a shot after playing the final 17 holes in 1-under par - hit his 200-yard, 6-iron approach to 12 feet and then sank the eagle putt for the long-awaited win.
With his 3-under 69, Wood ended up at 18-under 270. Coetzee fired a 7-under 65 and Garcia a 66; the duo shared second at 271.
"It's a dream come true," Wood said of the thrilling finish and his first title in 115 starts on the European Tour. "There's an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders. I feel like I can go on and win more. I knew it was going to be hard no matter how I played - winning on the European Tour is not easy."
Before reaching the 18th hole, the 25-year-old almost blew his chances for the maiden victory after posting four birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey on the par-3 third hole. He made the turn in even-par 36. Despite his travails, Wood stayed focused throughout the final round, which had a rare Saturday finish.
"That putt on the last hole was the first time I'd looked at the leaderboard. I knew that was my chance and I took it," he said. "I had to dig deep. You've seen the likes of Tiger Wood do it before - he wins ugly. I didn't play as well as I have done but in the back of my mind I always felt I was there, or thereabouts.
"I grew up watching Garcia. To beat him by a shot on the last was pretty satisfying. The field we get in these desert events is great so there's a lot of world ranking points there for me," added Wood, who entered the tournament ranked 142nd.
Sharing fourth at 275 were England's Steve Webster (68) and Swede Alexander Noren (71). Another stroke back were Englishmen Anthony Wall (69) and Simon Khan (72), and South African Branden Grace (71).
American Jason Dufner (69) tied for ninth at 277 with Andy Sullivan (65), Felipe Aguilar (68), Thongchai Jaidee (68), Mikko Ilonen (69), Victor Dubuisson (69) and Martin Kaymer (70).
No. 4-ranked Justin Rose shared 16th at 278 with five other players.
For complete scoring details, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013007/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.