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Goosen captures Tour finale

U.S. Open Champion, Retief Goosen, was four strokes behind at the start of play on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta but shot a six under par round of 64 to overcome the deficit and capture the TOUR Championship title. His eleven under par total of 269 gave him a four stroke winning margin over world number three, Tiger Woods and earned him sixth place on the final money list with just under $4million. Not bad when you consider he was out of action for a month in the summer due to a jet ski accident which injured his hip and is only just returning to full fitness.

Goosen set the tone for the day early on by making birdies on the first and third holes to put himself into contention. With the overnight co-leaders, Woods and Jay Haas, both dropping shots on the front nine, the South African took the outright lead for the first time with a birdie on the ninth hole. The final pair also made birdies on number nine moving Haas once again into a share of the lead with Woods one shot back. A couple of holes later all three were sharing the lead on minus eight until Goosen birdied the thirteenth to go clear. He never looked back and further birdies on fifteen and sixteen sealed the deal.

Haas' round fell apart with four shots dropped in the last six holes including a double bogey on sixteen giving him a final round 75 but it was still good enough for a share of seventh place on 276, his eighth top ten of the season. Woods looked to have a chance when he birdied fifteen but bogeys on the next two holes meant he had to settle for the runner-up spot for the third time in his last four outings. His $648,000 check took him past the $5million mark for the sixth straight season despite only winning one tournament. The last time he failed to win multiple titles in the same year was back in 1998.

Jerry Kelly carded a five under par 65 for a third place total of 274, having been within a stroke of the lead early on the back nine. A shot further back, tied in fourth place, were Stephen Ames (70), Mike Weir (70) and Mark Hensby (67). Scott Verplank shot a 67 to join Haas in tied seventh while PGA Tour Player of the Year, Vijay Singh, finished off his record-breaking season with a round of 65 and ninth place, his 18th top ten finish of 2004.

Phil Mickelson put in a 74 to finish at four over par for the week before heading off for a much-needed vacation.



Written by: Andy Smith (Editor, Golfing Weekly) -  Mon, November 8, 2004

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