DOHA: England’s Chris Wood produced a spectacular display of golf to establish himself as a serious contender for the Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on Friday.
Looking for his first victory since turning pro in 2008, the 25-year-old stroked five birdies and an eagle over his first 10 holes to take a two-shot lead midway through the third round and put pressure on the big guns such as Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer, the overnight joint leaders.
Wood was seven under after 10 holes in the third round for an aggregate of 14-under, two shots ahead of Garcia and Englishman Simon Khan.
Khan shot six birdies over the first nine holes to boost his hopes of a strong finish in the second leg of the “Desert Swing.” Kaymer displayed indifferent form on Friday, two bogeys over the front nine setting him back considerably. Marcus Fraser, another overnight joint leader, also suffered two bogeys over the first nine holes to slip down the leaderboard.
SNEDEKER, CHOI SHARE LEAD
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker fired a seven-under par 65 to share the first-round lead with South Korea’s K.J. Choi at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on Thursday.
Snedeker finished without a bogey on Torrey Pines’ more forgiving North Course, while Choi had eight birdies and one bogey on the South Course.
Tiger Woods, making his US PGA Tour season debut in the $6.1 million event, emerged from an erratic round on the South Course three off the lead on 68.
Snedeker and Choi were one stroke in front of a group of eight players sharing third place on 66. Former Masters champion Mike Weir of Canada headlined the group, which also included England’s Ross Fisher and American Charles Howell — who lost in a playoff on Sunday at the Humana Challenge. Canadian Adam Hadwin, Billy Horschel, Josh Teater, Luke List and Scott Stallings were also in the group at six-under. Nine more players, including Bo Van Pelt and England’s David Lynn, were tied on five-under 67.
Woods headlined another big group on 68 that also included Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, Fiji’s Vijay Singh and South Korea’s D.H. Lee.