Chris Wood misses out on BMW International Open play-off place by one shot
CHRIS Wood had a frustrating final day at the BMW International Open, missing out on a play-off place by just one shot.
The 24-year-old bogeyed the short 17th while in a share of the lead with Yorkshireman Danny Willett and Australian Marcus Fraser, which ultimately left him in joint third place.
Wood said: “It was a solid week, but slightly disappointing as I had been playing nicely for a while.
“It was tough conditions and it was a day to battle around the course and you’re going to hit bad shots.
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“I only hit one bad shot and it cost me a double-bogey on the 14th
“But then I had two birdies in a row after that and holed a nice putt on the last.
“I tried not to look at the leaderboard, that’s something I have learned not to do throughout my career. I thought I had half-a-chance of a play-off, but didn’t realise Marcus had finished at 11-under.
“It was a tough, brutal day – you are trying to keep everything dry, have enough to drink and then you get put on the clock.”
Willett finally beat Australian Fraser for his first European Tour victory after four extra play-off holes.
Willett, a team-mate of Rory McIlroy in the 2007 Walker Cup, feared it was going to be his 20th top-ten finish without victory when he threw away a three-stroke lead.
But the former world number one in the amateur ranks was given a reprieve when Fraser bogeyed the 456-yard final hole.
That meant a tie on the 11-under-par mark of 277 after Willett’s superb three-iron escape from close to the trees, and the pair had to play the 18th four more times to settle the issue.
First they parred it with Fraser holing from 12 feet, then they bogeyed it with Willett missing from four feet, then they parred it again.
Fraser, twice a winner on the circuit, was favourite to land the first prize of nearly £270,000 when he was 30 feet away in two and the Yorkshireman went over the green.
However, Willett almost chipped in, then saw Fraser lip out and miss his four-footer coming back.
“Amazing – it was a tough day,” said the world number 204, who today will be at Sunningdale trying to qualify for the Open Championship – as will Fraser.
“I’ve had some ups and downs in the last 18 months, but I’m injury-free now and I want to thank everybody for the support they’ve given me.”
One in front overnight, Willett birdied the third and fourth, but the script began to change when he three-putted the ninth.
Further dropped strokes came at the 11th and 15th, the pressure mounting after he had three-putted again for par at the long 13th.
With the weather at its worst, though, he managed to par the final three.