Goosens 64 Tops Tiger for Victory

By Sports NetworkNovember 7, 2004, 5:00 pm
04 Tour Championship by Coca-ColaATLANTA -- Retief Goosen, the reigning U.S. Open champion, overcame a four-shot deficit on Sunday to win the season-ending Tour Championship. He fired a 6-under 64 to finish four strokes clear of Tiger Woods at 11-under-par 269.
Woods, who failed to win with a piece of the 54-hole lead for the first time since this event in 2000, only managed a 2-over 72 on Sunday. This was only the third time since joining the tour that Woods squandered a final-round lead, but now Woods has gone through the entire 2004 campaign without a stroke-play victory.
'Very disappointed,' said Woods, who won this year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. 'I felt like I had a golden opportunity to win a tournament. I wish I could have played a little better than I did. I feel like I really should have won this tournament.'
Woods, who fell to third in the world rankings this season and fourth on the final money list, could not hang with Goosen, who started to ascend up the leaderboard with a pair of birdies in his first three holes. But Woods and Jay Haas enjoyed a four-shot lead heading into the final round so the U.S. Open champion would have ground to make up.
Luckily for Goosen, Woods and Haas were falling apart at the start of their rounds. Woods dropped shots at two, five and seven, and on all three occasions, missed the fairway and left himself with long par putts.
Haas ran a birdie putt 10 feet past the hole at six, and missed the putt coming back for par. He dropped another shot at seven, and when Goosen tapped in for birdie at the par-5 ninth, Goosen found himself in the lead.
Haas caught him with a birdie at nine, and Woods closed the gap with birdies at nine and 11 to match Goosen in the lead at 8 under par.
Goosen reclaimed the lead with a 25-foot birdie putt at the 13th. His drive kicked in a fairway bunker at the par-5 15th, which forced him to lay up short of the putting surface. Goosen's third stopped 6 feet from the hole and he converted the birdie putt to move two ahead of Woods.
Haas fell down the leaderboard with bogeys at 10 and 13 so the race for the trophy came down to Woods and Goosen. Woods, who won this title in 1999, knocked his second over the green at 15, but chipped to 3 feet to set up birdie and momentarily cut the margin to one.
Goosen, who also won the U.S. Open in 2001, hit a terrible drive into the right rough at 16. He hit a 5-iron to a foot and tapped in the first birdie at 16 all day Sunday.
'I could get to it and hit a smooth 5-iron,' said Goosen, referring to his approach at 16. 'It came out just perfect. I wasn't trying to hit it dead at the flag, just a touch left. Those things happen.'
Woods, now trailing by two, also found the tall grass off the tee at 16. His approach came up 25 feet short, but his birdie putt missed on the right side. Woods missed the 3-footer to save par and was now three back with only two holes to play.
Woods once again drove into the rough at 17 and his second came up short of the green in a patch of thick rough. His chip rolled to 4 feet, but he missed the par putt .
Goosen and Woods both parred the final hole to give Goosen his second win this season and his fifth on the PGA Tour.
'It's great to finish the season off this way,' said Goosen, the fifth-ranked player in the world. 'At the start of the day, I probably thought 11 -or 12- under. When I saw Tiger and Jay got off to a bad start, I thought 9 under was going to be the winning score.'
Goosen pocketed $1,080,000 to finish the season sixth on the PGA Tour money list. He won the European Open and with the U.S. Open prize money counting for the European Tour, he finished second on that circuit's Order of Merit behind Ernie Els.
Woods struggled at times with his ball-striking and his putting in Sunday's final round.
'I started off hitting it really good. I just putted terrible. I had no speed on the greens,' said Woods. 'Then all of a sudden I started putting good and my game went bad. I could never put both of them together.'
Jerry Kelly posted a 5-under 66 and snuck into third place at 6-under-par 274. Former Masters champion Mike Weir (70), Stephen Ames (67) and Mark Hensby (70) shared fourth place at minus-5.
Haas, who at 50 years of age was the oldest player ever to qualify for this event, seemed to run out of gas at the end of the round. He carded a 5-over 75 and tied for seventh place at 4-under-par 276 with Scott Verplank, who shot a 67 on Sunday.
Haas indicated he would come back to the PGA Tour next year, but Sunday's final-round collapse left him with questions.
'I think that when I play rounds like I did the first three days, I feel like I can still do this, and when I play like I did today, I feel like I'm done and I can't do this anymore,' admitted Haas, who will turn 51 in a month. 'I've had bad rounds in the past and it's just disappointing that it came today.'
Vijay Singh, the No. 1 player in the world, fired a 5-under 65 and took ninth place at 3-under-par 277. He collected $180,000 and finished the year with a PGA Tour record $10,905,167 in earnings.
Els (67), David Toms (67) and Rory Sabbatini (68) shared 10th at minus-2.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.