Goose wins it for sick family

2004-12-05 21:49

Sun City - It turned out to be a walk in the park - or rather an energy-sapping walk in the steamy African bushveld - for South Africa's Retief Goosen as he powered his way to a six-shot victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday.

The 35-year-old carded a one-under-par 69 over the long, tough and windswept Gary Player Country Club course to post a winning aggregate of seven-under 281, as overnight leader Lee Westwood of England, his playing partner, crashed to 80 and a 291 total to finish joint sixth in the elite 12-man field.

Ernie Els, who signed for a 71 and was the only player besides Goosen to break par on Saturday, shared second place on 287.

Goosen earned $1.2m for his fourth worldwide victory in 2004 - the other wins being in the US Open, the European Open and the US PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship.

"I woke up this morning and saw that the wind was the strongest it had been all week so I knew it was going to be a tough day," said Goosen. "But I like it when conditions are really tough - like they were at Shinnecock Hills for the US Open - so I saw it as a challenge rather than something to be feared.

"I got off to a good start with birdies at the second, sixth and seventh holes and when I made that eagle at the ninth I felt I had pretty much sealed it," the world No 4 added.

Goosen revealed that his wife Tracy and their three-week-old daughter Ella have been in hospital in England since Wednesday with severe chest infections.

"I wanted to pack my bags and go home but Tracy said that I should stay here at Sun City and make the most of it. Well, I think I did and it's a great feeling. Tracy and Ella are much better now."

Goosen himself battled a bad cold for two of the four days here at Sun City.

Meanwhile, Australian Peter Lonard won his third tournament in as many weeks, shooting a 7-under-par 65 at the Australian PGA for a two-shot victory over third-round leader James Nitties.

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