Goosen Holds Slim Lead

By Sports NetworkJuly 3, 2004, 4:00 pm
KILDARE, Ireland -- Retief Goosen, who won the U.S. Open Championship two weeks ago, is in line to earn his second straight win. He posted an even-par 72 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Jose Manuel Lara at the Smurfit European Open.
Goosen completed 54 holes at 9-under-par 207, while Lara fired a 5-under 67 to get to minus-8. Lee Westwood remained in the hunt with a 71 to take third place at 7-under-par 209, with Paul Broadhurst and Peter O'Malley one stroke further back at minus-6.
Goosen stumbled to open his round as he missed a 5-foot par save at the first to slip to minus-8. He settled in to par seven straight holes.
The South African dropped back to 7 under with a bogey at the par-4 ninth. At that point, he was tied in the lead with Westwood, who was playing one group ahead of Goosen.
Westwood had knocked in a short birdie putt at the eighth, but then made a mess of the ninth en route to a double bogey. He came right back at the 10th when he drained a lengthy eagle to putt to return to 7 under.
Goosen reclaimed the lead at minus-8 with a 3-foot birdie putt at the 10th on the South Course at The K Club.
Meanwhile, Lara was making a charge from out of nowhere. He drained the sixth birdie of his round at the 16th to join Goosen in the lead at minus-8. Lara parred his final two holes for second place.
Goosen picked up his final birdie at the 15th to retake the lead. He parred his final three holes to hold a one-shot edge entering the final round.
'I struggled a little bit today and was stuck between clubs on a lot of occasions and hit a lot of poor shots,' Goosen said. 'It wasn't a great day. Obviously I am going to try and play a bit better and give myself more chances tomorrow. The first two rounds I played very well, but I played some rubbish today.'
Westwood, who also birdied 15, stumbled to a bogey at the 16th to drop back to minus-7, two shots behind Goosen.
'It was a bit frustrating out there. I felt I played better than 71,' said Westwood. 'I either holed from 3 feet or 60 feet. At least there is no damage now. If you have a day when you don't hole any putts and don't do any damage then you have to take consolation from that.'
Lara had bogeyed the third, but came right back with a birdie at the fourth. He picked up three birdies over a five-hole stretch from the seventh. The Spaniard picked up another birdie at 14, before his birdie on 16 gave him a temporary share of the lead.
'The five birdies between 10 and 14 on Thursday are why I am in this position now. Those and the hole in one,' said Lara, of his Friday ace. 'I took confidence from the good things that were happening and I have played really well the last two days and putted nicely.'
Nick O'Hern, one of three first-round leaders, notched his second straight even-par 72 to remain at 5-under-par 211. Gary Evans, Maarten Lafeber, Paul McGinley and Henrik Stenson are one stroke further back at minus-4.
Thongchai Jaidee posted a 69 to move to 3-under-par 213. Australian Richard Green fired the round of the day as he posted a 6-under 66 to climb to 2-under-par 214. He is joined there by Niclas Fasth and Kenneth Ferrie.
Phillip Price, the defending champion, carded a 2-under 70 to move to 1-over-par 217, where he stands in a tie for 22nd.
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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.

    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open

    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 6, Dustin Johnson

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

    Only Dustin Johnson could win four times in 2017 and it still feels as though he underachieved.

    That’s unfair, perhaps, but it’s a testament to Johnson’s awesome ability – and his incredible run of form last spring – that observers can’t help but shake the feeling that his year could have been even better.

    In February, he rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time, the culmination of a long, bizarre journey in which he often battled himself (through major blunders and, reportedly, drug-related suspensions) as much as his peers. Johnson’s blowout victory at Riviera was his first of three consecutive titles (including two WGCs), as he achieved Tiger-like levels of dominance and rolled into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Expectations for this star-crossed talent are always different, and so the surprise wasn’t that he blew that major but that he didn’t even give himself a chance. In one of the biggest stunners of the year, Johnson’s manager announced on the eve of the first round that his client had suffered a back injury while slipping on a set of stairs in his rental house. Just like that, the year’s first major was thrown into chaos, with Johnson unable to play – the line of demarcation in his good-but-not-great year.

    Though he added a playoff victory at the end of the season, Johnson failed to factor in any of the remaining three majors and was surprisingly inconsistent, perhaps because of swing compensations after the injury.

    Would DJ have denied Sergio Garcia a green jacket? Would he have created even more separation at the top of the world rankings? Would he have defended his Player of the Year title? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

    In typical DJ fashion, he left us to ponder what could have been.

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    View from the top: How long will DJ stay at No. 1?

    Article: DJ's star once again shines brightest at WGC-Mexico

    DJ on win: 'Means a lot' with the pressure of No. 1

    DJ breaks it down: How No. 1 won WGC-Mexico

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    DJ on beating Rahm: 'I didn't give him anything'

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    Article: After uneasy warmup, DJ withdraws from Masters

    Article: Johnson installed as Masters betting favorite

    Article: DJ injures back in fall, hopes to play Masters

    DJ on Masters WD: 'Want to play ... it sucks'

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    Watch: Paulina shows off pretty swing at TopGolf

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    DJ beats Spieth in playoff to earn fourth win of year

    Burr: 'For a great win there is an epic collapse'