India’s Arjun 28th, Goosen wins Iskandar Open (Lead)

November 2nd, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Johor Bahru (Malyasia), Nov 2 (IANS) India’s Arjun Singh carded a third even par round to finish 28th while South African Retief Goosen won the Iskandar Johor Open at Royal Johor Country Club here Sunday.Goosen, a two-time US Open winner, overcame an overnight four-shot deficit to end a frustrating 21-month title drought with his magnificent two-stroke victory.

Arjun, who has been in the top-20 or thereabouts often enough this season, was the best among Indians, who made the cut at the tournament. His previous rounds were 72, 72 and 71 and he finished at one-under 287.

Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant and Australian Kane Webber challenged Goosen all the way before settling for second and third place respectively after a 71 and 70.

Overnight leader and former Ryder Cup star Niclas Fasth of Sweden faltered on the final day with a three-over 75 to finish at seven-under 281 and slip to tied fourth.

Among other Indian players, Gaurav Ghei and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who were in a good position to come inside top-10 at various times, ballooned to 78 and 77 on the final day. Ghei, 10th after third round, ended at one-over 289 and in 34th place. Bhullar, who after 36 holes had shared the lead, also finished 34th.

Baaz Mann (75) ended at six-over 294 in 55th place, while Firoz Ali (76) was eight-over 296 in 64th place and Harmeet Kahlon (79) ended at 16-over in 78th place.

It was Goosen’s fourth victory on the Asian Tour and his 29th international title and ended a lean spell where his last victory came at the Qatar Masters in early 2007.

He also extended his proud winning record of having won at least an individual or team title since 1995. “It was a long time ago that I won (in Qatar). It’s nice to get at least a win every year since 1995 and keep the streak going.”

The South African, who ended the week with a 12-under-par 276 winning total, enjoyed a flying start with a birdie on the par five second hole and produced a stunning eagle on the par five fourth when he holed out his third shot from the fairway.

Another 15-footer for birdie on the 10th hole saw the 39-year-old tie Thaworn for the lead and he was soon out in front on his own when the Thai bogeyed the 10th hole. Two more birdies on the 14th and 15th holes from 15 and six feet saw Goosen pull ahead by three.

Thaworn, chasing a record 11th career win at the Iskandar Johor Open, birdied the 14th hole to get to within two shots of Goosen but failed to find the two birdies down the stretch to force a play-off.

A weather-delay which suspended play for two hours and 15 minutes while the last two groups were still on course only served to delay the inevitable as Goosen walked off with the winner’s cheque of $79,250.

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