England international Chris Wood (pictured left – photo courtesy of Tom Ward) produced the performance of his life to secure the silver medal as the leading amateur in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

A closing round of 72 for 290, ten over par, saw the 20 year old from Bristol finish in joint fifth place with American Jim Furyk, seven strokes behind the champion, Padraig Harrington, but ahead of many leading professionals after a tough week over the Southport links.

“I don’t know what to say, I‘m lost for words,” was Wood’s comment on his outstanding performance. “It’s been a great week and an unbelievable experience.”

“The support I had from the fans was brilliant and playing with Ian Poulter in the final round was superb as he played so well.”

“I didn’t feel under any pressure but it was another tough day in the wind,” added the 6ft 5in man from Long Ashton who won the admiration of the fans.

Starting the final round on eight over par after rounds of 75, 70 and 73, and with his father Richard as caddie, Wood kept his game under control in the blustery conditions and managed to find three birdies.

With Poulter in with a great chance of picking up the claret jug, the pair seemed to inspire each other but although Poulter matched Harrington’s 69, he had to settle for second place four strokes behind the Irishman.

With only two amateurs making the cut, the silver medal was a straight fight between Wood and Tom Sherreard, former boy cap and an England ’A’ Squad member, from Kent.

But Sherreard also closed with 72 thanks to an eagle-birdie finish for 294, 14 over par.