Chris Wood won his first European Tour event earlier this year.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- The TV and radio announcers will be challenged today with Tiger Woods and Chris Wood in today's final pairing along with Keegan Bradley.
Woods is 13 under and leads the other two by seven strokes after two rounds of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He tied the Firestone Country Club course record -- for the second time -- on Friday when he shot 61.
The 25-year-old Wood is playing with Woods for the first time. Bradley, on the other hand, has played with Woods five times previously, most recently on Thursday and Friday at the Memorial Tournament -- and they're paired together in the first two rounds of next week's PGA Championship.
Wood, as might be expected, is excited to play with the world No. 1. The three tee off at 1:10 p.m. ET.
"He's up here as high as you can get in my book as far as what he's achieved is just phenomenal," the Englishman saiid. "Like I said, he's been my golfing hero since I was 10, when I started the game, really. To be out with the world No. 1, Tiger Woods, is going to take a bit of getting used to, I think."
Wood wasn't surprised by Woods' 61. The two hit balls next to each other on the range Friday and Wood said Woods "looked really impressive, totally in control. It's going to be a real challenge for me (Saturday)."
An opportunity, as well.
"But I've got to forget about all that sort of thing," Wood said. "As hard as it's going to be, I've just got to try and play my game and enjoy the experience because I never got to meet Seve, which I would have loved to have done, and to play with Tiger ... in a final group in a big event is pretty special. I won't forget it."
MARANA, Ariz. -- American Bubba Watson came out sizzling on Thursday to put away pesky Englishman Chris Wood, 2 and 1, in the first round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Watson, a No. 2 seed, will now face Jim Furyk in the second round. Watson reached the semifinals here two years ago.
The Masters champ struggled on Wednesday before a snowstorm halted play. The match was all square through six holes at that point, even though Watson had suffered a double bogey and a bogey in that stretch.
But on Thursday, he won the seventh hole with a par, then eagled the par-5 eighth when he holed out from off the green. That put him 2 up.
Watson birdied the 11th and 13th holes to match Wood, who was also playing better than he had the previous day. When Wood birdied the par-4 15th with an 11-foot putt, Watson's lead was reduced to 1 up.
But Watson won the next hole, the par-3 16th, when he rolled in an 18-footer for birdie. Both players birdied the 17th, Watson hitting his approach shot within 3 feet.
"We both played better this afternoon," Watson said. "Yesterday with the cold weather we all struggled a little bit. We both made birdies, and we just kept tying, and luckily I made some birdies down the stretch."
Reigning U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell is struggling a little during the first round of the British Open. The affable Northern Irishman, who favors cardigan sweaters -- they call them jumpers here in the UK -- rather than pullovers, is 1 over through 13 holes.
Meanwhile, Chris Wood birdied his 18th hole for a 70 that left him tied for 45th. The lanky Englishman has been virtually a sure bet at the British Open after finishing fifth or better in his first two starts but now he has considerable ground to make up.