Chris Wood, the 20-year-old English amateur who came fifth at The Open, rose to the second spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking on the back of his performance at Birkdale.

 

For a while, it looked as if he might come close to becoming the first amateur winner since Bobby Jones in 1930: at the half-way stage of the final round, Wood was playing beautifully, just three shots off the lead, and making playing partner Ian Poulter look very ordinary indeed. On the back nine, however, the roles were reversed, and in the extremely difficult conditions it only took a couple of wayward shots for Wood to slip back. Yet a birdie on the 17th helped him to share fifth place with Jim Furyk, and showed that a top amateur golfer can mix it with the best players in the world.

 

Wood's spot at The Open came via Local Final Qualifying at Hillside, though he didn't have to go through Regional Qualifying to earn it. Along with Australian Rohan Blizard, Wood was exempt from the RQ stage by being one of the top-10 WAGR ranked entrants to the Championship. Both players fully justified their exemption into LFQ, qualifying alongside former Open runner-up Jean Van de Velde - though while Wood found himself splashed all over the newspapers come Sunday morning, Blizard sadly missed the cut by six shots.

 

American Rickie Fowler remains in the number one spot, which he regained last week when his compatriot Michael Thompson turned professional. Tom Sherreard, the other amateur to make the cut at Royal Birkdale, rose 60 places to number 79 in the world on the back of his tie for 19th place.

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