England’s Chris Wood made a shaky start in the final round of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in Doha today.
Three clear overnight, the 25-year-old’s pursuit of a first European Tour title saw him miss a three-foot birdie chance on the second and then double bogey the next.
After missing the green, Wood hit the rock face in front of him on the par-three fourth before giving his confidence a much-needed boost with an eight-foot birdie putt on the next.
His lead was down to only one, however, and it was compatriot Steve Webster closest to him. Only 11th when he resumed, Webster went to the turn in 32 as the wind picked up.
Two behind were South Africans George Coetzee and Branden Grace and also Swede Alex Noren.
Wood found himself two behind when he bogeyed the sixth and Coetzee followed his fourth birdie on the ninth with a five-foot eagle putt at the long 10th.
Now chasing, though, Wood hit back with birdie putts of 35 and 18 feet on the eighth and ninth and so turned on level terms.
Webster, Grace and Sergio Garcia were two behind in joint third – Grace after matching Coetzee’s majestic eagle.
Garcia made it a three-way tie when he added birdies on the 12th and 14th.
It looked between the trio when Webster double-bogeyed the 15th. Even with a birdie two holes later he was three back in joint fourth with Grace and Londoner Anthony Wall.
Coetzee birdied the 16th to edge in front, Wood levelled on the 14th, but the South African was back in front on his own when he pitched to five feet at the last and completed a best-of-the-day 65.
Wood salvaged a par on the 15th after a really poor second shot, but he needed a birdie to force a play-off and Garcia had to pick up shots at the last two.
Garcia did what he had to do, holing from six feet at the 17th and five feet on the last to join Coetzee on 17 under par.
All eyes then turned to Wood, who remained one shot behind with two to play.