Goosen Waltzes Into Winners Circle

By Sports NetworkJanuary 27, 2002, 5:00 pm
Retief Goosen captured the Johnnie Walker Classic Sunday, posting an impressive eight-shot victory at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia. The 32-year-old South African turned in a 1-over 73 in the final round to win his eighth career European Tour title with a 14-under-par 274 total.
 
Goosen's victory, his first Down Under, was worth $210,408 and moved him from ninth to first-place on the 2002 European money list. He finished on top of the Order of Merit(money list) last season on the strength of two wins in Europe and his breakthrough major triumph in the U.S. Open in 2001 at Southern Hills.
 
Sweden's Pierre Fulke, the runner-up in last year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Melbourne, carded the day's best round of 66. His bogey-free effort lifted him into sole possession of second place at 6-under-par, one shot ahead of world No. 4 Sergio Garcia, the highest-ranked player in the field this week.
 
Garcia, who won his third U.S. PGA Tour title at the winners-only Mercedes Championships earlier this month, closed with a 3-under 69.
 
Goosen took a one-shot lead with a 68 in Friday's second round, then distanced himself from the field Saturday with a sizzling 63. The 9-under-par score was good for a course record at the difficult Lake Karrinyup layout, and his 13-shot lead after 54 holes set a European Tour record.
 
'It felt funny having such a big lead,' said Goosen, who was ranked ninth in the world heading into this event. 'In a way it made things more difficult.'
 
Nothing less than the collapse of the century could produce a tight race in the final round, but Goosen made it interesting by taking a double-bogey 6 at the par-4 opening hole.
 
Goosen would need to suffer a lot more of the same to slip back to the pack, however, and he managed to settle down with 11 pars and two birdies before his next mistake - a bogey that was the result of hitting his second shot into the water at the par-5 15th.
 
Although his tee shot found the rough at the 16th, Goosen showed that he still had some magic left over from the day before. His next shot finished five feet from the hole and he made the birdie putt to return to 15-under.
 
'After the first hole I thought if things kept going wrong, I was going to have a big problem,' he said. 'However, I got there and by the 17th I was able to relax.'
 
A wayward drive off the 18th tee led to a closing bogey, but the fact was Goosen had wrapped up the victory more than 24 hours before.
 
'It was a big problem starting out because everybody was expecting me to win,' admitted Goosen. 'I managed to hang in there somehow and it was nice to pull it off.'
 
He kept up a tradition of success for major champions in this tournament. Nine of the 11 Johnnie Walker Classics have been captured by majors winners, including Nick Faldo (1990, '93), Greg Norman (1994), Fred Couples (1995), Ian Woosnam (1996), Ernie Els (1997) and Tiger Woods (1998, 2001).
 
Goosen joined Ian Palmer (1992) and Els as South African winners of this event.
 
Besides finishing fifth, second and first in his three starts on the European Tour this year, Goosen has tallied 13 top-10s - including four wins - over his last 17 starts dating back to last year's English Open, which was held the week before the U.S. Open.
 
Els, who began the day tied for second with Garcia at 2-under, remained there with an even-par 72. A near ace at the par-3 17th almost earned the two-time U.S. Open winner his weight in the sponsor's whiskey.
 
Raphael Jacquelin (68) of France tied for fifth place with Englishmen Simon Dyson (72) and Anthony Wall (72) at 1-under 287, rounding out a total of only seven players to finish the tournament under par.
 
Full-field scores from the Johnnie Walker Classic
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Tiger putts way into contention at The Open

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 5:17 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – When Tiger Woods benched his trusty Scotty Cameron blade putter last month at the Quicken Loans National for a new TaylorMade mallet-headed version some saw it as a sign of desperation, but if his performance on Carnoustie’s greens on Saturday were any indication it could end up being a calculated success.

Woods stormed into contention on Day 3 with a 5-under 66 to move to within shouting distance of the lead at The Open, thanks in large part to his vastly improved putting.

“I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I've had really good feels,” said Woods, whose 29 putts on Saturday belies his performance on Carnoustie’s greens. “Even as this golf course was changing and evolving, I've maintained my feels with the putter. I've made a couple of putts from about 40 to 60 feet, which is nice. I just feel like I've been able to roll the ball.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


The highlight of Woods’ round came at the par-4 ninth hole when he charged in a 40-footer for birdie from the front edge of the green to begin a run of three consecutive birdies. Perhaps more impressive, he didn’t have a three-putt, and has only had two all week, which is always a bonus on links courses.

Woods temporarily took a share of the lead with a lengthy birdie putt at the 14th hole and scrambled for a par save at the last after his drive nearly found the Barry Burn.

“I hit a few putts that I think should have gone in from 20, 30 feet today," he said. "So that's always a good sign.”

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TT postscript: A 66, he's in contention - awesome

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 4:58 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Here are a few things I think I think after Tiger Woods went berserk Saturday and shot 5-under 66 to vault up the leaderboard at The Open at Carnoustie:

• THAT WAS AWESOME!

At 4:13PM here in Scotland, when Tiger two-putted for birdie on the par-5 14th hole, he held a share of the lead in a major championship. It was once unthinkable, but it happened. I saw it with my own eyes.

• Tiger’s last two weekend rounds in the 60s in The Open both happened at Carnoustie and both happened on July 21. In 2007, Woods shot 69 here. On Saturday, that score was clipped by three shots. Tiger shot 65 in the second round of The Open at Royal Liverpool in 2006. He won his third claret jug that week. Tiger last shoot 66 in a major during the second round of the 2011 Masters.

• This is the sixth time that Tiger has recorded three consecutive rounds of par of better to start The Open. He went on to win three of the previous five times.

• One bad swing, the only bad swing of the day according to Tiger, produced the luckiest of breaks. Standing on the 18th tee with an iron in hand, Tiger pulled his tee shot that hit on the top of the Barry Burn and very easily could’ve ended in a watery grave. Instead it ended in thick rough, some 250 yards from the pin. Tiger punted it up the fairway, but got up and down from 83 yards to save par and shoot 66. “I hit my number,” he quipped about hitting wedge to 2 feet.

• On the other hand, the lone bogey came from one poor putt. On the par-3 16th hole, with half of Scotland screaming his name, Tiger missed a 7-footer for par. It was deflating at the time because the last three holes are so difficult. Pars on the last two holes were stellar.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


• Final stats: 12 of 15 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and 29 total putts. Tiger hit six drivers and one 3-wood, proving that he was way more aggressive. He hit four drivers on Friday and only one on Thursday.

• One of the aforementioned drivers that he hit on the ninth hole was well left and in some thick round, 170 yards from the hole. A safe approach to 40 feet set him up for and easy two-putt par. But he slammed the putt home and made an improbable birdie. “I hit so many good putts out there today, and this week from distance, I’ve had really good feels,” he said.

• In his own words about his chances of winning: “It certainly is possible. I’ve shown that I’ve been there close enough with a chance to win this year. Given what happened the last few years, I didn’t know if that would ever happen again, but here I am with a chance coming Sunday in a major championship. It’s going to fun.”

Yes, yes it is.

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Watch: Guy sleeps next to many beers at Open

By Grill Room TeamJuly 21, 2018, 4:55 pm

It's Moving Day at The Open Championship for all but one sedentary fan.

Cameras caught this potentially browned-out man having himself a Saturday snooze on the browned-out grasses of Carnoustie:

Browned out. That's a great term. Glad it's in the public domain. We've been using it all weekend. I imagine we'll continue to use it. A lot.

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Watch: Tiger makes 6 birdies, 1 amazing par in Rd. 3

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

Tiger Woods started the third round of The Open at even par, having made seven birdies and seven bogeys over the first 36 holes at Carnoustie.

Following three pars to start on Saturday, Woods went on a birdie binge.

No. 1 came with this putt at the par-4 fourth.


No. 2 with this two-putt at the par-5 sixth.


No. 3 thanks to this 30-footer at the par-4 ninth.


No. 4 after nearly jarring his approach shot on the par-4 10th.


No. 5 when he almost drove the green at the par-4 11th and two-putted, from just off the green, from 95 feet.


And No. 6, which gave him a share of the lead, came courtesy another two-putt at the par-5 14th.


Woods bogeyed the par-3 16th to drop out of the lead and almost dropped - at least - one more shot at the par-4 18th. But his tee shot got a lucky bounce and he turned his good fortune into a par.


Woods shot 5-under 66 and finished the day at 5 under par.