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Goosen clinches Singapore Skins title

Retief Goosen, the reigning European Tour Order of Merit titleholder, stamped his mark on the Singapore skins golf tournament Sunday, walking away with $70,000 in a battle of four of the world's top 10 golfers.

The 33-year-old South African was pleased with the outcome in his first skins encounter, having beaten the likes of Padraig Harrington who earned $50,000, Vijay Singh ($45,000) and Sergio Garcia ($15,000).

Goosen won only two holes, or skins as they are known in the made-for-television golf match, but one of them earned him $60,000 at the Tanah Merah Country Club Sunday.

The par-three 11th hole proved to be the richest of the tournament after the previous six holes were halved and the prize money carried over.

Goosen's tee shot landed within three feet of the pin while none of the other three managed to keep the ball on the sloping green, and the easy birdie putt added $60,000 to the $10,000 he won on the third hole.

"I just got a bit lucky today. I played well only on two holes. I was probably the worst of the lot for the day but still emerged the winner," an elated Goosen said.

Irishman Harrington, the world number eight and runner-up to Goosen on the European Tour Order of Merit, ended with a flurry when he sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th to add $45,000 to the $5,000 he collected on the fourth hole.

"It's not a 72-hole stroke-play format and it doesn't really matter whether you make a bogey or a double bogey on a particular hole. All that matters is winning the right holes," said Harrington, who suffered in the muggy Singapore heat.

"I thoroughly enjoyed it, though if the course had a few air-conditioners out there it would have better," he said, pointing to his sweat-soaked t-shirt.

Fijian Vijay Singh, the world number seven, opened with $5,000 on the first hole and then had to wait until the 14th before he added another $40,000.

Garcia had the best and worst shots of the day. He holed his nine-iron from 126 yards on the par-5 15th for an eagle and his only skin of the day worth $15,000.

"Thank God, it happened on the 15th. I had missed an easy birdie putt on the 10th when I could have made $50,000 and that got me down a bit," he said.


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