Chris Wood jumps to 54-hole lead at Nordea Masters

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Chris Wood jumps to 54-hole lead at Nordea Masters

Euro Tour

Chris Wood jumps to 54-hole lead at Nordea Masters

Chris Wood heads into the final round of the $1.7 million Nordea Masters in position to win his fourth European Tour event after what he called an “easy” 68 around Barseback Golf & Country Club in Malmo, Sweden.

Wood returned a second consecutive 5-under 68 to move to 9 under for 54 holes. He holds a one-shot lead over Italy’s Renato Paratore and Benjamin Hebert of France. Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen is fourth at 7 under.

Thirty-six-hole leader Jamie Donaldson is one of three players tied for fifth after struggling to a 2-over 75. He’s tied with Max Orrin of England and Korea’s Jeunghun Wang at 6 under.

Wood arrived in Sweden after making a poor defense of his BMW PGA Championship title. He finished T-49 at Wentworth, but felt it should have been lot better. He’s making up for it through 54 holes over the 2003 Solheim Cup course.

“It felt like quite an easy 68 for me,” Wood said. “I was four behind JD (Jamie Donaldson) to start with and I’ve more than closed the gap. That’s all I was looking to do today.

“I played lovely last week at Wentworth and lost a lot of shots on the greens. I’ve done some really good work over the weekend and we’re making a bit of progress. It’s nice to see a few go in because that gives you a bit of momentum and a bit of confidence.

“It’s not been far off all year without showing any results. It’s really frustrating because I know some good golf is around the corner. I’ll keep doing what I am and the results will come.

“If there’s wind this sort of strength tomorrow, there’s going to be guys who shoot four, five, six under. There’s always one that comes out, but I can’t do anything about that. If I do what I have done all week, I’ll be in with a chance.”

While Wood is looking for his fourth European Tour win, Paratore and Hebert are looking for their first. Paratore held the first-round lead and has hung around the top of the leader board ever since. Many would like to see the 20-year-old secure his first European Tour win if only because he plays the game with a refreshingly quick pace of play.

Wood will be hard to shake if the stiff winds of the first three days continue. The 2016 Ryder Cup player excels in a strong breeze. He has two top-five finishes in the Open Championship (2008, 2009) to back up that claim.

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