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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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.