Retief Goosen wins firstSun City title
South Africa's Retief Goosen claimed his first Sun City Golf Challenge title at the Gary Player Country Club on Sunday after overnight leader Lee Westwood slumped to an 80.
Goosen, the U.S. Open champion, carded a final round 69 for a 72-hole aggregate of seven-under par 281 to win by six strokes from countryman Ernie Els and Australia's Stuart Appleby.
The 35-year-old Goosen nearly withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday on news that his two-week old daughter Ella had been taken to hospital with a fever.
"I was ready to pack my bags and head home to England," Goosen said. "But Tracey (his wife) persuaded me to stay and Ella will be out of hospital either tonight or tomorrow."
Goosen started the day on four-under, one-shot behind leader Westwood, but produced the best nine holes of the tournament to go out in 31 and five shots clear of the field at the turn.
Englishman Westwood recorded a disappointing round of eight-over par to drop back to three-over for the tournament and a share of sixth place in the 12-man field.
The course, which has been lengthened to combat the power of the modern professionals, proved too tough for many of the world's leading players.
There were only four sub-70 rounds in the 48 played and defending champion Sergio Garcia ended on a total of 15-over par 303.
Goosen birdied the par-five second, the par-four sixth and the par-three seventh to take the early lead on seven-under par.
Westwood matched him the early stages and when the pair stood on the eighth tee there was just one shot between them.
But the Englishman recorded a triple bogey on the difficult par four after missing the fairway and fluffing a bunker shot to let the South African surge ahead and into an unassailable lead.
"When I woke up this morning I knew the wind was going to pick up and that it was important to get off to a good start," Goosen said.
"I did that and although I made mistakes on the back nine nobody made a run at me because the course is so tough."
Goosen also started the week in ill health after suffering the effects of a cold and the punishing heat.
"The medics have been very good here and by Saturday I was feeling a lot better," he said.
"I battled with my swing all week but my chipping was good and I managed to get up and down when I needed to."
The $1.2 million prize was the biggest cheque the world number four had picked up this year.
281 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 70 71 71 69
287 Stuart Appleby (Aus) 70 69 74 74, Ernie Els (Rsa) 70 74 72 71
288 Chris DiMarco 71 74 69 74, Jim Furyk 74 76 66 72
291 Lee Westwood (Eng) 70 70 71 80, Jay Haas 75 74 70 72
292 Todd Hamilton 74 72 71 75
293 Nick Price (Rsa) 71 70 74 78
297 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 75 78 72 72
299 Chad Campbell 80 75 72 72
303 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 75 76 74 78
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