Goosen Threatening to Win Again


Retief Goosen is one day closer to winning the Volvo Order of Merit title for 2001, as the South African star fired a 66 Saturday to take the outright lead entering the final day of the Telefonica Open de Madrid.
A two-time winner this year, Goosen has made nearly $2.3 million in official earnings on the European Tour, some $700,000 more than second-placed Darren Clarke.
Now, through 54 holes at the Club de Campo this week, he sits at 17-under-par 196, and commands a two-shot lead entering Sunday over David Higgins (69), Steve Webster (68) and local product Diego Borrego, who shot a day-best 64.
Goosen began his round two shots off the overnight pace, but picked up a quick birdie at the par-4 2nd.
He then turned on the form and the flawless swing that have become his trademark this year, as he rattled off four birdies in a row from the seventh through the tenth.
Goosen did slip late in the round with bogies at Nos. 12 and 17, but managed to sandwich a birdie in between them at the 14th.
Then, to cap off the performance, he poured in a birdie at the closing par-4 18th for 66.
Goosen may not have won an overwhelming number of tournaments this year, but the ones he did champion were premier events.
He made an immediate name for himself on a worldwide scale in June, when he titled at the United States Open. Then, about a month later, he won one of the biggest events on the regular European schedule at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
Two shots ahead of the field entering Sunday, he would seem a good bet to take his third victory and wrap up the money race.
Borrego might prove his toughest challenge, however, as the Spanish native made five birdies and an eagle Saturday to narrow the gap.
If nothing else, Borrego will have local support of the galleries.
Goosen may also want to keep an eye on Clarke himself.
The Northern Irishman and No. 2-player on the money list dropped in a 65 on Day 3 to join two others in a tie for fifth.
However, five shots back at 12-under, Clarke will have to shoot an incredibly low number on Sunday if he is to win.
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