Goosen Edges Big Easy in South Africa

By Sports NetworkDecember 18, 2005, 5:00 pm
European TourDurban, South Africa -- Retief Goosen matched Ernie Els' birdie on the 72nd hole Sunday to hold off his countryman and win the South African Airways Open.
Goosen, who bogeyed the opening hole in the final round, closed with a 3-under 70 at the par-73 Fancourt Golf Club to end the tournament at 10-under-par 282 and win this crown for the second time.
Els, despite an opening-round 3-over 76, took second place at 9-under-par 283 after closing with a 5-under 68.
'Ernie played very well and I got away with it at the end there,' said Goosen, who claimed his 13th European Tour win. 'It's great to win this trophy again. The last time was ten years ago so it's great to get my hands on it again.'
Gregory Bourdy carded a 3-under 70 to move into a tie for third at 2-under-par 290. He, along with Darren Fichardt (74), were the final two players in red figures. Mattias Eliasson, Gregory Havret and Keith Horne shared fifth place at even-par 292.
Goosen, who also won this title in 1995, knocked his approach shot over the green at the first. He was unable to save par and slipped to minus-6, two clear of Els.
Els, last week's winner at the dunhill championship, picked up a stroke on Goosen as he drained a 10-foot birdie try on the third. Both players birdied the fourth, Goosen from 12 feet out and Els from 2 feet. Els then birdied the eighth to tie Goosen in the lead at minus-7.
Goosen, the fourth-ranked player in the world, quickly regained the lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on the ninth. Els looked to be out of it at the 12th, as his second shot bounced off the green and into a hazard.
Els, who is No. 5 in the world, could do no better than double bogey to fall three back. However, he bounced back with a birdie on 14. Els made it two in a row with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 15th to move within one of Goosen.
The 1994 and 1997 U.S. Open champion joined Goosen in the lead at minus-8as he converted his third straight birdie, this one from 4 feet out on the 16th.
Goosen reclaimed the lead at No. 17 with a dramatic chip-in birdie from over the green.
'It was one of those chips, that if I play it well, I can get it within 8 feet and make par that way, and instead it went in,' said Goosen.
With the tournament on the line, both players showed their mettle. Goosen putted to 5 feet from the back chipping area, and sank that birdie putt. Els missed his eagle putt from 7 feet out, but tapped in for birdie to end one stroke back.
'I just couldn't make a putt today to save my life,' said Goosen. 'On a golf course like this, its so tough that anything can happen.'
Francesco Molinari posted a 2-over 75 to finish alone in eighth place at 1-over-par 293. Last year's winner Tim Clark struggled to a 76 in the final round to finish at plus-2. He was joined there by Ross Fisher, who faltered to a 5-over 78 on Sunday.
South African Patrick O'Brien posted a disastrous 14-over 87 on Saturday. He came back strong on Sunday closing with a course-record, 6-under 67. However, it was only good enough to get him into a share of 58th place.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - South African Airways Open
  • Full Coverage - South African Airways Open
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.