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Page last updated at 18:48 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 19:48 UK

Wood misses out by a shot at Open

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days

By Ged Scott
BBC Sport at Turnberry

Chris Wood
Wood plays an approach on the 15th fairway during his final round

Chris Wood maintained his amazing Open Championship record by tieing for third place at Turnberry - but he was so close to making even bigger headlines.

But for an expensive bogey at 18, he would have made the play-off - and Wood found it hard to explain.

"I've never hit a nine iron 210 yards in my life," he told BBC Sport. "There's nothing I could have done about it. It went miles.

"It was a little bit of adrenalin and a little bit of a flier."

He added: "Even when I saw the shot I'd got left I still fancied myself. It's a shot I've hit so many times.

"But it's difficult to play a lob wedge out of the rough when you're nervous.

"And it's still been a great week.

"To say I'm only 21 and have competed in two majors, the experience I've had at The Open has been amazing for my career."

Bristol's Wood received only the Silver Medal for finishing fifth at Royal Birkdale last year as the champion amateur golfer of the year.

Now he is £255,000 better off, comfortably the biggest payday of his career.

"I've got a new flat so I needed to pay the rent," he smiled.

It's a great golf course. But I just didn't play well enough round it

Cheltenham's Paul Casey

But the money is not the only reason Wood has enjoyed this year's Open more than a year ago.

"The weather has been slightly better than last year," he said. "And the golf course has been class.

"To play golf in this scenery and for the sun to come out capped off a great tournament.

"One of my goals going out today was to get into the top 10 and secure a place for next year and give myself a good chance to get in the Race to Dubai.

"And it feels even better this year to have followed up what I did last year as a pro.

"I felt I controlled my nerves really well.

"I had a great caddie on my bag in Dave McNeilly, saying really positive things. And he wouldn't let me look at the leaderboard, although I did have a couple of sneaky looks.

"And it was funny that I should have been playing with Justin Rose today.

"We both won the Silver Medal and made our names in the Open, so to play in the last day of the open when we both had a chance to win was ironic."

606: DEBATE

Wiltshire's David Howell knows what it is like to hit a final round 67 in an Open and move up the leaderboard into the big money.

But, having started the week in style with a two-under 68 before dropping back with a 73 followed by a 72, any hopes he nurtured about repeating last year's barnstorming, serious money-earning final round 67 at Birkdale were soon forgotten.

He bogeyed two of the first five holes and, although he did get a birdie back at seven, he then dropped another shot at nine to go out in 37.

And it all went wrong for him from the 13th, as he frittered away five shots in four holes, including a second double bogey of the week at the short 15th, before closing with a birdie four at 17.

"I came here with no form," he told BBC Sport, "I went home with no form.

"I've got a week off next week and that may turn into a month off."

Cheltenham's Paul Casey, who had opened with a two-under 68 on the first day, had slipped out of contention with rounds of 76 and 74.

But the world No 3 at least produced something more like what was expected of him on the final day as he closed with a level-par 70.

After a dropped shot at the fourth, he then went one under for the day with birdies at 12 and 13, only to spoil his card with a bogey at 17, the easiest hole on the course.

"It's a great golf course," he said. "But I just didn't play well enough round it."



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