Scott Holds Off Goosen in China


BEIJING -- Adam Scott overcame a charge from Retief Goosen and poor play of his own to win the Johnnie Walker Classic on Sunday. He shot a final-round, even-par 72 to finish at 18-under-par 270, which was good for a three-shot win over Goosen.
'It was a tough day,' said Scott. 'Retief played very solid. He kept making pars and putting the pressure on me. I hung in there and I'm very happy with this result.'
Goosen, the two-time and reigning U.S. Open champion, shot a 2-under 70 on Sunday and clipped a five-shot deficit to start the final round down to one around the turn. Unfortunately, Goosen parred every hole on the second nine and collected his 15th runner-up finish on the European Tour at minus-15.
Henrik Stenson holed an 8-foot bogey putt at the last to fall into a tie for third place. Stenson joined Michael Campbell (72) and Richard Sterne (71) at 13-under-par 275.
Ernie Els, a two-time champion, Colin Montgomerie and Brett Rumford all posted final rounds of 3-under 69 to share sixth place at minus-12.
The tournament was plagued on Thursday by high winds that forced the suspension of the first round after only three hours. The golfers had to play a lot of golf in the last three days to catch up, but one constant was that Scott was atop the leaderboard after each round.
On Sunday, he held a five-shot advantage, but Goosen caught up quickly with birdies at two and three. Scott dropped a shot at the third, so the lead fell to two.
Scott added one to his lead at the par-5 fifth when he sank a 5-foot birdie putt. Goosen missed a 6-footer for par at No. 6, so the lead was back to four. Scott went bogey-birdie at seven and eight and Goosen birdied eight to cut the lead to three.
Scott missed the green at the ninth and chipped to 7 feet. His par putt died left of the hole and his lead was only two. Scott made a mess of the 10th when his drive found the right rough. His approach landed on the front fringe and Scott elected to pitch past the hole. His 10-footer for par failed to find the bottom of the cup, so his lead was now at one.
The young Australian hit a spectacular iron shot at the par-3 12th. His ball landed 3 feet right of the hole and he converted the birdie putt to extend the lead to two.
'I really needed that,' admitted Scott. 'Looking back on it, that probably set me up to win the tournament.'
Goosen, who won this title in 2002, hit a poor drive at the par-5 13th and was forced to lay up. Scott found the fairway, then hit the center of the green with his second. Goosen's third landed on the fringe and he chipped up to 2 feet to seal his par. Scott's long eagle try came up 6 feet short, but he rolled in the birdie to retain a comfortable three-shot lead.
Goosen had a good look at birdie on the 15th, but his 6-footer broke left at the last second. Scott then seemed to have an excellent chance at birdie one hole later, but his 7-foot try skirted the left edge.
Scott gave Goosen an opportunity at the par-3 17th when his tee ball landed in a greenside bunker. Scott blasted out to 5 feet and Goosen had close to 50 feet for his birdie putt, which nearly fell. Scott made the par putt and both players parred 18 to give Scott his first win on the European Tour since the 2003 Scandinavian Masters.
'It was so difficult in the wind with judging clubs,' said Scott. 'I was a little shaky on the front nine, but I got it together early on the back nine. That was important.'
Despite posting the worst final-round score by an eventual champion this season on the European Tour, Scott became the third wire-to-wire winner in 2005.
Scott, the 10th-ranked golfer in the world, collected his fifth title on the European Tour. He also owns three wins on the PGA Tour and captured this year's rain-shortened Nissan Open. That victory did not count as an official win because the tournament was cut to 36 holes.
Luke Donald, who tied for third with Goosen at the Masters two weeks ago, shot an even-par 72 and took ninth at 11-under-par 277.
Sergio Garcia (73), Scott Drummond (73), Santiago Luna (72) and Steven O'Hara (72) shared 10th place at minus-10.
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