Wood wins to knock on door for Rio, Ryder Cup

WENTWORTH • English golfer Chris Wood is eyeing a spot in the Ryder Cup and the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, after his win in the European PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday.

He put himself in the frame for a place in the European team, under Darren Clarke at Hazeltine, with his €1 million (S$1.54 million) prize money, but still has to overtake either Danny Willett or Justin Rose in the world rankings to make the British team for Rio.

The Wentworth victory will push Wood into the top 25, but Willett was ninth and Rose 10th the week before the event.

There is an added complication - Wood is getting married the week after the Olympics and his stag party is due to take place when golf is on in Brazil.

"My stag do is the week of the Olympics now," the 28-year-old told reporters after his win. "You could probably postpone that but not the wedding, which is the week after.

"I had sort of put it in my head that Justin and Dan were locked in, really. If that changes, then great. We can always have a stag do in Rio, can't we?"

Wood had a chance of winning this tournament back in 2010 when he was in front going into the last round, only for fellow Briton Simon Khan to win after he collapsed with a 77.

And the player from Bristol claims the experience of throwing that away helped him finally land the biggest title of his career.

He added: "I was leading by two going into the last day, and I think the whole thing got the better of me. Even I can remember back that day, that was a Ryder Cup year. I was sat at breakfast thinking, oh my God, if I win this, I might make the Ryder Cup.

"Those sort of thoughts aren't what you want four hours before you tee off... But it's being able to manage those shots, and six years on, I'm older and more experienced; I can do that."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2016, with the headline 'Wood wins to knock on door for Rio, Ryder Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe