Houston’s JJ Wood is ready to step onto golf’s biggest stage at the PGA Championship

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HOUSTON - Living in Houston, JJ Wood is used to being mistaken for a more famous Houston athlete.

"JJ Watt, he deserves the recognition in Houston I'd say," Wood concedes. "I'm a close second as far as 'JJ W' first names go."

Wood, not Watt, will carry the Houston flag next month at the PGA Championship. Thanks to a strong performance at a qualifying tournament in June, Wood earned his spot in the year's final major.

"It's all going to boil down to how I feel when I stand on the first tee with 100,000 people around me. I've never had more than 50 watch me. As far as my physical game goes, I'm ready to compete at that level."

The 33-year-old is an instructor at Golf Performance Group in Houston. He admits he's had to be a bit selfish during his preparation, but it's also reinvigorated his love of the game.

"It's been 10 years since I've been the golfer that people were 'Oh wow, you shot 68 or 72.' It's fun to feel like a kid again and have people follow me as a player," he said.

Before entering the coaching profession, Wood played collegiality at Pepperdine, and went on to finish his masters at Oklahoma.