England’s Danny Willett heads into today’s final round looking to finally join former amateur team mate, Rory McIlroy in the winner’s circle with victory in the BMW International Open in Cologne.
Willett, 24 bogeyed the last in a round 69 to still head the field by a stroke with a 12-under par tally on the Gut Larcenhof course.
Bristol’s Chris, and looking also for a first Tour success toast, posted a 70 to share second place with Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm (72)
Willett played on the same 2007 GB & I Walker team as Rory McIlroy but unlike the curly haired Northern Irishman.
But while’s he’s banked over £2m in his 105 starts, Willett is looking to go one place better than a career best of second to Martin Kaymer in the 2010 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
However it’s only been in recent months Willett has finally begun rekindling the form after a suffering a detached muscle from one his ribs with just three holes to play at St. Andrews.
Willett was then 18th on the money list and reached a career high of 64 in the world after his second at the Home of Golf.
He’s competing this week in Germany as World No. 204 and lying 55th on the Race to Dubai.
“I’m excited about the final round and while it would be great to win there is still 18 holes to go,” he said.
“I’m playing nice but there’s no point in getting ahead of yourself, as anything could happen.
“I missed the last nine weeks of 2010 and ruined my practice for the off season and leading into 2011.
“At the time, I also hurt my groin and my back over compensating
“So I’ve only felt fully fit for the past three months since my rib injury at the Dunhill in 2010, and I’ve gained more confidence in being able to swing the club freely knowing I’m not going to be in any pain.
“It just happened at a bad time in my career with me looking to press for top-50 and moving up in my career.
“So to win this week would be a nice reward after all I’ve had to go through.”
Wood, who was third as an amateur in the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, is no stranger to being close also to a first win.
And strangely, he and Willett are on back-to-back pages in the Tour’s official Media Guide while Wood is also aged 24 and also has banked just over £2m in career earnings.