Wood enjoying home comforts
Chris Wood was quick to tell one reporter that he is English and not Welsh, but he would still love a "home" win in the Wales Open.
The 25-year-old from Bristol carded a first round of 66 at Celtic Manor to share second place with Australia's Richard Green, two shots behind surprise leader Espen Kofstad.
"Even though I'm English I do think of this as a home event and it's one I'd love to win," said Wood, who eagled the short par-four 15th after his drive finished just four feet from the hole.
"It's nice to be able to stay at home this week, it's only 30 minutes across the bridge for me and dinner is on the table when you walk in the door, and I treated my caddie to a Bristol City game on Tuesday - well, I would call it a treat.
"We beat Crystal Palace in the Carling Cup so I think he got lucky. It's probably the best I have seen them play for a couple of years so I think Brendan is now a bit of a closet fan."
Wood, who won his maiden European Tour title in Qatar in January, is currently 61st in the world rankings and is targeting a place inside the top 50 to boost his chances of Ryder Cup qualification.
"It's a long way off but as good a start as you can get, the better," added Wood, who played alongside his idol Tiger Woods on the way to finishing seventh in the Bridgestone Invitational earlier this month.
"I feel my game is more ready to get myself into contention for a place than it was a couple of years ago, but if you're not in the world's top 50 you have to be winning events to have a chance."
Kofstad made a stunning first impression on Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley in the first qualifying event, the 26-year-old Norwegian playing alongside McGinley and storming home in 29 for a seven-under 64.
He even earnt a high-five from McGinley on the 18th after holing a bunker shot for an eagle three and said: "It was really cool to play with the Ryder Cup captain.
"It was just inspiring to be here I think, taking photographs with the trophy on the first tee. It would be great to play in the Ryder Cup, although I can't really expect a spot. But I put in a decent application today."