The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

LYONESS OPEN: Defending champion in fine form but taking nothing for granted No room for complacenc­y from Wood

- phil casey

England’s Chris Wood is guarding against complacenc­y as he prepares to defend his Lyoness Open title at the Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Wood claimed his second European Tour title in Atzenbrugg 12 months ago, a closing 67 giving him a two-shot victory over Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello.

The world No 23 returns to Austria on a high after winning the BMW PGA Championsh­ip at Wentworth a fortnight ago to vault himself into contention for a Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine in September.

“Of course I should probably feel unbeatable this week, after the win at Wentworth and coming back here as defending champion,” the 28-year-old from Bristol said.

“But anyone who knows golf will know that it’s a game where everything can change week by week.

“You never feel like you’re unbeatable, so you’ve always got to keep on top of things and not get ahead of yourself because golf will bite you back very quickly. It’s a new week this week and I’m here to compete and hopefully do well.

“Coming back as a defending champion is a great feeling and obviously you come back with great memories from last year.

“With that comes a little bit of added pressure but obviously I know I can play well around this course, so hopefully I can give it as good a run as I gave it last year.

“I’ve got to beat some good players this week though.”

One such player is home favourite Bernd Wiesberger, who won the title in 2012 and was second in 2014, although the Austrian has yet to record a top-10 finish on the European Tour this season.

“I wanted to be fresh for my home event so I had a couple of days off in Vienna,” the world No 47 said.

“I used the time to play 18 holes here on Tuesday and had a good look at the course and what it’s going to be like,” he added.

“I built that into my practice with my coach last week at home.”

 ?? Picture: Getty. ?? Chris Wood on his way to winning the Lyoness Open last year.
Picture: Getty. Chris Wood on his way to winning the Lyoness Open last year.

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