Retief Goosen captures Transitions tournament

AFP , TAMPA, FLORIDA

Tue, Mar 24, 2009 - Page 19

While most of the talk this year has focused on the PGA Tour’s young guns, Retief Goosen and 50-year-old Tom Lehman proved this week that the veterans still have game.

Two-time US Open champion Goosen fired a one-under par 70 to win the PGA Transitions Championship and post his first win on the USPGA Tour in four years.

South Africa’s Goosen sank a five-foot putt on the 18th hole to beat Americans Charles Howell and Brett Quigley by one stroke. It was his first win since the August 2005 International.

His par putt curled in the side of the cup to break his victory drought.

“Eventually, you wonder if you can still do it,” Goosen said.

Goosen had a two-shot lead with three holes to play but struggled to hang on. He had two putts from 25 feet for the win on 18 but blew his first effort a good five feet past the hole.

Lehman was trying to become the seventh player in his 50s to win on the PGA Tour. But he did not make a birdie on Sunday until the 17th hole and finished four shots behind.

A former Ryder Cup captain, Lehman’s 75 left him in a tie for eighth.

Lehman, who turned 50 two weeks ago, had a one-shot lead going into the final round as he tried to become the first ex-Ryder Cup captain since Tom Watson in 1998 to win on the PGA Tour.

Howell tied Goosen for the lead with a 12-foot birdie on the 14th. But his next tee shot found the deep rough right of the 15th green and a flubbed chip led to a bogey.

Howell then bogeyed 16 after missing the green to the right again.

“You ride on such a thin line on a track like this, where you just know every bogey hurts more than most, because you know it’s so much harder to make up,” Howell said.