Wood confident ahead of Qatar Masters

20 February 2018 05:07:26 EST

Chris Wood returns to Doha Golf Club, scene of his victory in the 2013 Qatar Masters, frustrated, but also encouraged, by his second place in last week's NBO Oman Open.

The 30-year-old Englishman missed the cut in his first three 2018 outings before turning around his form in stunning fashion at Al Mouj Golf. He held the lead for much of the final day, but was eventually overhauled by close friend Joost Luiten.

"That's golf isn't it?" he said afterwards. "You're never happy. I played poorly for six to eight months and would have never thought I would have put myself into contention here. And when you do, you feel gutted when you don't win.

"I'm pretty down, but when I reflect after a couple of days, I will think it is a big step in the right direction. The putting's been great and it's down to a lot of work that I've done with Phil Kenyon in his Southport studio.

"It's also about the long game and the progress that I've made after getting back with my old coach Paul Mitchell in the last couple of weeks is obviously huge."

Wood finished fifth in the 2008 Open Championship as an amateur and then one shot outside the Stewart Cink-Tom Watson play-off 12 months later at Turnberry, both times under the tutelage of Mitchell.

It's also about the long game and the progress that I've made after getting back with my old coach Paul Mitchell in the last couple of weeks is obviously huge.

Chris Wood

He was still with the Bristol coach when he claimed his first two European Tour titles, including in Doha five years ago. Only his 2016 BMW PGA Championship victory came away when they were apart.

"Knowing I've won in Qatar is massive," said Wood. "Given that I have turned up at most events recently with no confidence, I feel like I can go there with pretty upbeat."

In addition to his win, Wood has a further three top 20 finishes in Doha and he is 20/1 to win the tournament outright.

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