Mon, Oct 16, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Retief Goosen defends his China Masters title


South Africa's Retief Goosen poses with the Volkswagen Masters-China trophy after retaining his title with a one-under-par 71 in the final round at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya.


Retief Goosen shot a final round one-under-par 71 yesterday to hold out Michael Campbell by three strokes and successfully defend his China Masters title.

Two-time US Open winner Goosen finished with a 21-under-par 267 total at Yalong Bay Golf Club to successfully defend the title he won at the Jinghua Golf Club last year.

"It's a great feeling to defend a title. It's the first time I've won a professional title back to back. I've done it before as an amateur, so it will be great coming back next year to give myself a chance of making it a hat-trick," Goosen said.

Campbell, last year's US Open winner, made up for two bogeys on his first nine with six birdies to finish with 68.

Scotsman Simon Dunn, who has only made one cut on the Asian Tour this season, was four strokes off the lead with 68, while England's Yasin Ali (69) and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand (64) finished a further stroke back at 273.

After taking a five-stroke overnight lead, Goosen started slowly yesterday, mixing two birdies with a bogey to finish his first nine at 1-under-par. He opened his second nine with a bogey before recovering with a birdie on the 11th.

"It was an up-and-down day. I made a lot of bad mistakes," Goosen said. "It was very frustrating as I felt I should have played a bit better but at the end of the day you just want to finish ahead."

The South African sank an eight-foot putt to save par on the par-5 13th after he hit his second shot in the water.

"I think that putt on 13 sort of settled me down as I wasn't sure what Dunn was doing ahead of me," Goosen said. "If I didn't par, my lead would have been two or three shots. That putt was the turn around putt for me as it kept me going and kept me in front."

Campbell, who finished runner-up to Goosen at last year's China Masters, said his desperation to catch Goosen backfired.

"I think I just pushed too hard too soon," he said. "I wanted to make some birdies and went in there too hard and it cost me."

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