Wood in wonderland after Wentworth win

Englishman Chris Wood landed the biggest win of his career at the BMW PGA Championship after a dramatic final round at Wentworth Club.

Images courtesy Getty Images2016 Champion: Chris Wood.

“It’s amazing. It’s so hard to put into words at the moment. I’ve got my best friends, my fiancé, my family here and it is so, so special to win in front of them. The first time I played here I was leading by a couple going into the final day and had a bad day, finished sixth, but you look back on experiences like that think it probably did me some good,” Wood said.

The 28 year old started the day three shots off the lead held by Scott Hend, but a spectacular six under par front nine of 29 – comprising an eagle, four birdies and four pars - coupled with stuttering starts from the leaders sent him four shots clear around the turn.

“When you get off to a start like I did, you know that you’re vying,” Wood said. “It’s very difficult because you’ve just got to try to keep doing the same things. I had a text from Paul, my former coach who is helping me now, to say ‘67 tomorrow, that’s your number’. I was on course for that, but you’ll take whatever score wins.”

His lead was whittled down to one by the time he stood on the 18th tee after bogeys at the 14th, 16th and 17th, but he safely parred the par five last for a 69, which left him one stroke ahead of Swede Rikard Karlberg.

“In the final round, he didn’t look at any leaderboard. “That was one of my targets, whatever the situation was. It was all going really nicely. I didn’t really hit a bad shot. When you get the wind playing in on the last five or six holes here, it’s quite tough,” Wood added.

Karlberg had finished several hours earlier, a wonderful seven under par 65, which included a hole-in-one at the second, propelling him up the leaderboard as several of his competitors went the other way – Hend and Lee Westwood both dropping to tied 15th after respective rounds of 78 and 76.

Karlberg said he was a little bit tired in the final round: “It’s a tough course and takes a lot out of you. I started with a bogey and thought, ‘oh well’, but then I hit a great shot on the second that went straight in the hole. I got pumped up after that and just rode that wave.

Wood in wonderland after Wentworth win “When I played my first practice round on Tuesday, it felt so tough. It’s a really tough golf course, so to be able to do this on a Sunday, I’m very thrilled. I didn’t really see the leaderboard or anything but I knew we were going to be up there by the time I reached the 12th hole.”

Masters Champion Danny Willett, who had a share of the lead at the halfway point, took third place thanks to a closing 71. Willett said: “The game’s not been there. I’ve been working hard. I’m still struggling with a couple of shots, like on the back nine where the fade doesn’t quite work, I’m trying to hit a draw and double crossed myself. There are a few things to work on and it’s a work in progress. There are glimpses of really good, and then there’s obviously little sections that are very bad. I think a couple of weeks off before the US Open is going to do me some good.

“Looking at the scores now, we could have made it really close [in the final round} if we could’ve got going and put the foot down, but we just had too many mistakes. Top five is all right but obviously you’re working hard to try to win.”

Frenchmen Julien Quesne (72) and Romain Wattel (70) shared fourth with South African Thomas Aiken (72).

Ascot High Street takes another step towards redevelopment

The redevelopment of the Ascot High Street area moved a step forward at the end of May with the announcement of plans to press ahead with the creation of a development plan for the architectural firm working on the brief. Once created, this plan will be submitted to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for adoption.

The work will include a High Street Traffic Management Plan and research into the best way to create a sustainable new community centre. This is in line with community feedback on the need to improve traffic flow and also the desire for a community centre. It will be funded
by a group of key stakeholders in the project: The Crown Estate, Ascot Racecourse Limited, Bloor Homes (responsible for the Car Park 5a area) and Ascot Central Car Parks Ltd (Car Park 5).

The architects, Adam Architecture, will create the brief, working closely with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, which created the original vision for the redeveloped High Street in 2013. In May 2014, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead formally adopted the local community of Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale’s plan for the development of the Ascot High Street area.

Alastair Warwick, Chief Operating Officer at Ascot, said: "This is about taking the plan to rejuvenate Ascot High Street to the next stage. The neighbourhood plan will influence how Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale develops over the next 15 years and we are determined to get it right, which is why we have put the Prince’s Foundation at the forefront of representing the community’s view of the original vision. To that end, I am delighted that our area’s plan received a record breaking 91% approval rating from the public in the adoption referendum, enabling the stakeholders involved to move forward quickly with a unified strategy."

New book examines British monarchy as a major global brand

A book by Royal Holloway marketing expert Pauline Maclaran, Royal Fever, examines the British Royal Family and consumer culture.

With co-author Cele C Otnes of the University of Illinois, Professor Maclaran takes a fascinating journey through tourism, popular culture and memorabilia to create a portrait of the major global brand that is the British monarchy.

In 2011, an estimated 2.4 billion people across the globe watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on television. Now, as the UK and countries in the Commonwealth prepare to celebrate The Queen’s 90th birthday in June 2016, the authors shine a light on contemporary obsession with celebrity, fame and lineage.

In existence for more than a thousand years, the British Monarchy brand continues to shape consumer behaviour and maintain its economic and cultural significance in the present day. Using fieldwork conducted from 2005 to 2014, Royal Fever explores the myriad interactions between consumer culture and the Royal Family, exploring collectors, commemorative objects, fashion, historic sites, media products, Royal brands, and tourist experiences. Taking a case study approach, the book looks at both producer and consumer perspectives, from the organisers of ‘Royal’ tours to a woman who boasts a collection of over 10,000 pieces of Royal Family trinkets.

Pauline Maclaran is Professor of Marketing & Consumer Research in the School of Management at Royal Holloway. Her research focuses on cultural aspects of contemporary consumption, particularly in relation to gender issues, as well as fantasy retail environments and how the built environment mediates social relationships.

Study to be launched looking at potential of rail link from Heathrow to the south

Plans have been put in place to launch a study to examine the possibility of creating a rail link to Heathrow from the south of England.

The news comes after a Network Rail report suggested there was a strong case for a new route connecting Heathrow, which opened on 31 May 1946 as London Airport, to Waterloo, Guildford and Basingstoke – generally referred to by the industry as ‘southern rail access’.

Last year the authority called for a new rail service to Waterloo from the airport via Staines and improved rail access to Heathrow was previously identified in the council’s rail strategy as key to helping boost economic growth.

Surrey County Council has already thrown its weight behind the Crossrail 2 project and called for full electrification of the North Downs Line for the benefits it will bring for commuters and the county’s £37 billion economy.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning Mike Goodman said: “Good transport links are vital for economic growth.

"Thousands of people travel to Heathrow from Surrey every day, whether it’s to go to work or fly for business or pleasure. But rail links to the airport from the county are poor and Surrey’s roads are among the country’s busiest. That’s why we have decided to launch this study, irrespective of whether Heathrow expands."

Arup has been commissioned to write the report, which is expected to be published by the summer, and discussions are now taking place about the key areas it should cover.


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