Dubai: World No 60 Chris Wood is looking to build upon his first European Tour win in Qatar last week, in order to break top 50 and make the Masters.
The Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club starting on Thursday gives the 25-year-old Englishman the opportunity to continue momentum that has seen him rise from 82nd in the rankings and back into Major participation.
Wood qualified the 2010 Masters after finishing a best-ever tied for third at The Open in 2009 but after missing the cut there, he’s hopeful of another shot following his first professional win at the Thailand Open in August and his first European Tour win last week.
“After Qatar, Dubai is another good field with more world rankings points available,” said Wood. “At the moment I’m in the World Matchplay Championships and another solid week here would cement my place in that.
“That gives me the motivation not to relax. I’m desperate to get into these big events now, especially now that they are within touching distance.”
Wood, who once embarrassingly got stopped at US Immigration on his first trip to play in the States because they didn’t believe he was a golfer, is now hopeful he’s earned greater recognition within the game.
“I know I can win in Europe now. I can enter bigger competitions with that result behind me and hopefully continue my form and see how I can compete in the Majors and World Golf Championships – instead of watching these events on TV I’ll be playing in them,” he added.
“Obviously, the world rankings have moved me up to 60th and top 50 is what everyone is trying to get into. I’m not far off that and if I can get into it before the start of April it would be nice.”
Wood added: “I am on the edge of getting into the Majors. I played The Masters in 2010 but got overawed. That’s the one everyone watches when they are young. It’s the first Major of the season, everything about Augusta makes it the one everyone wants to play in. That’s the one on the horizon first and my aim is to try and get into that.”
Following Jamie Donaldson’s surprise win at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championships, Wood added another shock to the Gulf Swing by winning in Qatar, leaving the Desert Classic, the Middle East’s third and final stop open to anybody.