The Ngahinepouri golfer who celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday is playing in our national open for the first time after caddying in the event four times previously. His birthday present to himself was making his professional debut at New Zealand’s biggest golf event, which is exactly the way Wood wanted to tee off his career.
Following the New Zealand Open, he’ll head to the UK to play in the Clutch Pro Tour and attempt to play his way onto the Challenge Tour next year and follow in the footsteps of Daniel Hillier and Ryan Fox, who now play full-time on the DP World Tour after playing in Europe’s feeder tour.
He’s looking to gain some valuable experience as a professional before making the trip to the northern hemisphere and felt this was the right time to make the transition.
Naturally, he’s extremely excited about life as a professional golfer.
“I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I thought turning this week was the best option for the rest of the year. It’s been a great journey from the first time I picked up a club to the start of my professional career. I’m really excited and really looking forward to the week.”
Wood boasts an impressive amateur career that includes several district stroke play titles and numerous top 10 finishes on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour. He knows success as a professional won’t come easy but he is looking forward to the challenge of playing golf for a living.
He’s trying to keep his emotions in check and stick to doing what he knows well at the New Zealand Open this week.
“I’ve been trying not to think about it too much. At the end of the day, I’m still playing golf and I’m still going to go out and play as best as I can.”
He tees off at 8.57 tomorrow morning on the Remarkables Course at Millbrook Resort alongside 2018 New Zealand Open champion Daniel Nisbet.