British amateur is smelling like a Rose


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Open ChampionshipSOUTHPORT, England -- The leading amateur at the British Open at Royal Birkdale pitched over a bunker on the 18th hole and watched the ball roll into the hole to a huge roar from the gallery.
It wasnt Justin Rose from 1998. It was Chris Wood at the 2008 Open.
I probably pitched it a yard short of where I wanted to because I was so aware of it going long and just running off the green, Wood said. But the last few shots I had from around the greens I fancied holing one of them, and it probably came at the best time I could. I fancied holing it because my short game is in good form.
Woods final shot in Fridays second round of the 137th Open gave him an even-par 70 and a halfway score of 145, which easily made the cut and put him in a strong position to collect the top amateur prize, a silver medal.
That went to Rose at the same Birkdale course 10 years ago when the then 17-year-old Englishman chipped into the hole in a similar way on the 72nd, although from much closer to the pin. Wood attended the opening round of the 1998 Open when he was 10 but watched Roses amazing shot on TV.
Wood, 6-foot-5, had a tryout as a soccer player with hometown club Bristol City, but his career as a budding striker was halted by a knee injury.
Now he hopes to become a pro at golf. And, like Rose, he wants go be the leading amateur at an Open.
Ive made the cut now and Ive just got to finish as high as I can, said Wood, who has four amateur rivals in the field.
With the s missing from the end of his name, the 20-year-old Englishman didnt attract the kind of gallery that usually follows three-time Open champion Tiger Woods, who is sidelined for the rest of the year after knee surgery.
Theres got to be 50 or 60, he said, adding that many of his family are in Southport, including his mother and father Richard, who is carrying his bag. His sister, Abigail, however, isnt so excited about her brother playing in golfs oldest major championship.
My sister is traveling in Europe somewhere so she cant be here, Wood said. She sent a text the other day saying: Are you at that Open thingy yet?
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