England’s Chris Wood finished off his week at the 91st US PGA Championship with a back-nine 42 on the way to shooting a 79 and a total +15, leaving him tied 76th of the 79 players who made the weekend.
“Couldn’t get anything going, can’t wait to get on the plane and getting home,” he said. Wood didn’t get off to a very good start to his week, either. He was detained at Immigration in Minneapolis because officials didn’t believe he was a professional golfer. Hope no one spots him at the airport or he could get detained for further questioning after posting rounds of 74, 73, 77 and 79. He might have to work
hard under interrogation to explain why he bagged only nine birdies against 43 pars, 16 bogeys and four double bogeys.
This was Wood’s first ever visit to the States and he spent the first 40 minutes trying to convince Immigration officers that he was who he said he was. “They didn’t believe me,” he said. “I was in this room and they kept tapping stuff on a computer and asking me loads of questions. It was a bit of a shock. Not a very good welcome to America. They weren’t very nice. It wasn’t a great experience.”
The 21-year-old from Bristol said he never really got used to dealing with the jet lag and didn’t feel himself this week. It was all very different in July when he tied for third at the Open, following up his fifth at the 2008 Open as an amateur. So it is understandable that his memories of Hazeltine don’t quite match those he has from Turnberry and Royal Birkdale.
“The USPGA just feels like a big tournament but it’s nothing like the Open,” Wood said. Next week he’ll be teeing it up at the KLM Dutch Open, which, he will quickly realise, is nothing like a big tournament.
He’ll also realise that it is the performances at the big tournaments that count. And he has already proved he has the game and temperament to compete at the Major championships. Wood is a young man who admits that he is still on a learning curve. The USPGA was a major disappointment. The KLM Dutch Open will be the perfect place to get back to shooting under par and to get his name back on a leaderboard again.