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Eagle earns Wood long-awaited first European Tour title

updated 1:49 PM EST, Sat January 26, 2013
Chris Wood celebrates after holing an eagle putt on the final hole to win the Qatar Masters in Doha on Saturday.
Chris Wood celebrates after holing an eagle putt on the final hole to win the Qatar Masters in Doha on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • English golfer Chris Wood wins Qatar Masters by one shot after spectacular finish
  • He heads off Spanish veteran Sergio Garcia and South Africa's George Coetzee
  • The 25-year-old qualifies for next month's WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona
  • Garcia denied a return to top-10 rankings as he tied for second place with Coetzee

(CNN) -- When Chris Wood turned professional in 2009, he came agonizingly close to winning a major title in his rookie season -- but it's been tough going since then.

The English golfer finished tied for third at that year's British Open after missing out on victory at his final hole, having been fifth the previous season as the leading amateur.

Now he has finally tasted success on the European Tour, landing a spectacular eagle on the last hole to claim the Qatar Masters on Saturday.

He headed off veteran Sergio Garcia and South African George Coetzee by one stroke to earn the €310,917 ($418,000) first prize, thanks to a 202-yard six iron over the water that finished 10 feet from the hole.

"There's an enormous weight lifted off my shoulders today. I feel like I can go on and win more," said Wood, whose only other professional win came at the OneAsia Tour-sanctioned Thailand Open last year.

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With his trademark victory cigar in one hand, Miguel Angel Jimenez poses with the trophy in the other after winning his home Spanish Open for the first time on May 18, 2014. Having passed 50, he is the European Tour's oldest victor. With his trademark victory cigar in one hand, Miguel Angel Jimenez poses with the trophy in the other after winning his home Spanish Open for the first time on May 18, 2014. Having passed 50, he is the European Tour's oldest victor.
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"I knew it was going to be hard no matter how I played -- winning on The European Tour is not easy.

"I've been knocking on the door in previous times and it's not happened. To get it today, to get my first win, it's such an honor. I'm so pleased."

The 25-year-old had led by three shots going into the final round, but then dropped two off the pace after the opening nine holes to bring back memories of losing tournaments in 2010 and 2011 on the last day.

"I've seen a few mates picking up trophies and I've been waiting patiently for my time. I felt like I was due to win for a couple of years," said Wood, who will qualify for next month's WGC-Accenture Match Play in Arizona after moving from 142nd in the rankings to inside the top 64.

He closed with three-under-par 69 to deny Coetzee his first European Tour success.

The 26-year-old stormed home with a 65, firing an eagle and six birdies to record his 21st top-10 finish.

He finished tied with Garcia on 17-under 271, with the Spaniard -- seeking his 11th European Tour win and first since 2011 -- closing on 66.

"Chris hit a great drive and a great six iron and then a wonderful putt," said Garcia, who would have returned to the world's top 10 for the first time in more than three years if he had won.

"Obviously he's been trying for a while and he deserves it, and after the start he had today, it's quite impressive for him to come back the way he did and win. I gave it my best effort."

World No. 4 Justin Rose, the highest-ranked player in the field and runner-up in Abu Dhabi last weekend, tied for 16th.

Meanwhile, the third round of the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open was delayed by fog on Saturday.

Only a handful of players made it out onto the course before play was suspended, with halfway leader Tiger Woods holding a two-shot advantage after 36 holes as he and most of the field waited for their new tee-off times.

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