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Chris Wood turns professional

Thomas Rooney - Tuesday 29.07.08, 07:42am

After his fabulous performance in the British Open at Royal Birkdale where he finished joint fifth, 20-year-old British golfer Chris Wood has signed professional terms with the International Sports Management group. He will now receive invitations for the European Tour and will not have to qualify for next years’ British Open.

Considering not many people had heard of Chris Wood before his impressive display at Royal Birkdale, this is a dream come true for him. He has already said that the tournament was ‘the best week of my life’ an on turning professional he believes that he can have an ‘exciting and successful future in the professional ranks’.

There are certainly worse futures than travelling the world as a professional golfer and Chris Wood is understandably over the moon with this latest twist in his short golfing career.

Chris Wood did have the option to stay as an amateur for another year, but after discussing his options with the likes of Darren Clarke, he decided that he would be better suited to a year of professional golf on the European tour. I have to say I think this is the right choice. He is much more likely to improve as a golfer playing with and against the best players in the world.

Then of course there is the financial benefit – Chris Wood could make a living for himself now he has turned pro, something he couldn’t have done if he didn’t make the step up from amateur golf.

One thing Chris Wood does need to realise – and I’m sure he does – is that this is where the hard work starts. He may feel like he has made it now, but he is going to have to consistently put in strong performances to succeed on the European tour. At just 20-years-old, this will not be easy – he still has a lot to learn.

Justin Rose will vouch for this as after he finished joint fourth in the British Open, aged 17, he went on to miss 21 cuts in a row. I’m not saying that Chris Wood will suffer similarly, but he must be wary of the fact that he is playing at a much, much higher level now – it’s time to mix it with the big boys for the Bristolian.

The next few months are important for him, if he can get through them without suffering a Justin Rose style bad run, then many golf bets will be placed on him winning a major before long. This may seem like I am getting ahead of myself, but his performance in the British Open was the best from an English amateur in ten years and there is no doubt he has talent. Now it’s time to show this talent on a regular basis at the highest level.

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Comments (3)

Tags: Amateur Golf · Chris Wood · The Open


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3 comments so far

  • 1 Colorado Green Golfer // Jul 29, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    What a great story. From zero to hero in a week, and doesn’t have to qualify next year. I guess it’s sad we don’t hear more stories like this, but it’s extra sweet when somebody pulls it off.

  • 2 Golf Bets // Jul 30, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Was an absolutley fantastic tournament for him. He played so well. no surprise at all that he has gone pro.

    Hopefully he can follow in Justins footsteps. Int took him quite a long time to get there but now he is firmly established as one of the best players in world golf.

    Fancy Wood to kick on in the next yera though. Not putting too much pressure on, but would be delighted with some good top 25s

  • 3 Tony McEwan // Aug 2, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Enjoyed the post on Chris Wood.
    I think that when an opportunity arises like that it is important to grab it with both hands!

    He will gain so much more experience by mixing it up with the top players each week even if he doesn’t manage to get placed or win anything for the year.

    He will also earn more cash to , hopefully, invest in himself and improve himself as a player.

    Who knows, after a year he might realise he doesn’t quite have what it takes, but at least by trying then he finds this out now rather than continuing on the amateur circuit for another few years and then finding out!

    As long as he doesn’t lose heart by not winning against the big boys for what could be a couple of years on the pro circuit then i feel he has absolutely nothing to lose by turning pro!!

    Good luck to him!

    Tony McEwan
    http://www.golfinstructiontoday.blogspot.com

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