Chris Wood has claimed the biggest win of his professional career today, holding off Michael Wright by two shots to win the 2017 Morobe Open.
After another night of heavy rain, Wood and Wright went head to head in the heavy conditions making the turn at 4-under par 32. Although they couldn’t be split, they had opened up a gap on the rest of the field which they wouldn’t relinquish over the final nine.
When Wood managed to birdie the par three 11th, he found himself with a one shot lead over Wright. Wood held his nerve over the next five holes to stay in front, and when Wright missed a short par putt on the 17th, the lead was out to two.
Wright was unfortunately unable to put any pressure on Wood down the final hole and when Wood's putt for birdie finished only inches from the cup, he knew the Championship was his.
Although winning a number of tournaments on the PGA Pro-Am Series Sunshine Swing, the win here today now becomes his biggest to date since turning professional in 2012.
“My goal heading into the final round was to stick with my game plan of fairways and greens and I didn’t steer away from that even when Michael was chasing hard down the stretch,” Wood said.
“As I stepped onto the 10th tee I set myself the target of going bogey free over the final nine holes and in some ways that mindset gave me a sense of calmness when the pressure was at its greatest.
“This win really sets up my year and after coming off a couple of other wins earlier in the year, my confidence is really soaring.
“It’s great to hear my name being touted as the Morobe Open Champion and can’t wait to hit the course again this week in Port Moresby for the PNG Open."
It was a bitter sweet end to the Championship for Wright, though he’s happy with where his game is ahead of next week’s SP Brewery PNG Open.
“Chris and I had a great battle out their today and although I couldn’t quite get the job done, I am really happy with where my form is at,” Wright said.
“It’s been great to return where I have enjoyed so much success and I hope we have put on the show everyone wanted to see over the final nine holes.”
Wood and Wright will now be joined by 85 professionals and 20 amateurs for next week’s SP Brewery PNG Open, which will tee off on Thursday at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club.
Brad Moules will return this year as the defending champion, while Chris Wood will be keen to take out the PNG double, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Michael Wright in 2009.
The Sunshine Swing forms part of the PGA Pro-Am Series which comprises of 200 events Australia wide.
Played across more than 170 golf courses around Australia the PGA Pro-Am Series plays an important part in the development of Australia’s Professional Golfers whilst also growing the game at a grass roots level by engaging an estimated 48,000 amateur golfers each year.
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