Chris Wood eager to answer critics at World Cup

21 November 2016 03:08

Chris Wood is desperate to perform well for England in this week's World Cup and "get a few people off my back."

Wood has come in for criticism in some quarters after selecting Andy Sullivan as his partner in Melbourne, despite Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood being set to make the trip.

Westwood had been due to make his debut in the event after being chosen by Masters champion Danny Willett, but with Willett pulling out to protect a back injury, Wood took his place as the next highest eligible player in the world rankings.

Under tournament rules, Wood was also able to select his partner and opted for Sullivan after the pair bonded during their Ryder Cup debuts at Hazeltine.

Speaking after a closing 65 in the DP World Tour Championship, Wood said: " It's as good as I've played on a Sunday for a while so it's nice to get a bit of form going into the World Cup, get a few people off my back.

"Danny's the one that pulled out. They know fine well the situation. I've got so much respect for Lee as a golfer but I just feel as a team I will gel a little better with Sully.

"I went down the rankings, I did it in as fair a way as I could. There wasn't this much fuss when Danny jumped myself, Tyrrell (Hatton), Fitzy (Matt Fitzpatrick) and Sully to go to Lee.

"I totally understand Lee's frustration, you're ready to go, but myself and Sully are hungry to go and play and surely that's what you want.

"We played the first practice day at Hazeltine together, me, him, Sergio (Garcia) and Rory (McIlroy), and we really gelled that week.

"We both played one foursomes and the singles and were in courtesy cars a lot together. We got a bit closer that week and have chatted about our Ryder Cup experience among ourselves and we're motivated to go and win it next week."

Whatever happens at Kingston Heath is at least certain to be more enjoyable than Wood's previous visit to the course in Melbourne.

" I played about four holes when I was in the England squad as an amateur and got stung in the eye by a bee and had to come off," added Wood, who coincidentally had Willett as one of his team-mates on the trip.

"For me those sort of courses are as good as it gets, I'm so excited to get down there and play it. It's almost like a US Open-style, you play aggressive to certain areas but you can putt it off greens and put yourself in position Z."

Source: PA