Golf: Fourie makes it four out of five

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The Independent Online
John Fourie became the fourth South African in five years to win the British Seniors' Open at Royal Lytham yesterday. The 52- year-old's final-round 69, the best of the day, gave him victory by three strokes from Neil Coles, of Britain, and the New Zealander Bob Charles, who won the Open on the same course 29 years ago.

Fourie took charge with four birdies in five holes from the eighth, the last a 30-foot putt from off the green. He closed with impressive resolution, making a 12- foot birdie putt on the 16th and then a 15-foot putt to save par on the next. After his drive on the 18th just missed a bunker, he found the green and took two putts for a two- under 282. The Pretoria club professional's last win in Europe was the Callers of Newcastle, in 1977.

Charles, the winner in 1989 and runner-up on two other occasions, had a bogey on the last to finish in a tie with Coles, the 1987 champion. Peter Butler, Coles's former Ryder Cup team-mate, finished fourth on two over par.

Arnold Palmer, after moving into joint second place in mid- round, collapsed to an inward 42 and finished joint ninth. Gary Player, who began South Africa's recent run of success with victories in 1988 and 1990 (his brother-in-law Bobby Verwey won last year) ended yesterday in joint seventh place.

Michael Noon, of Britain, who was the surprise second-round leader after a 66, fell back to 12 over par with a closing 82.

BRITISH SENIORS' OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP (Royal Lytham) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 282 J Fourie (SA) 75 67 71 69. 285 B Charles (NZ) 71 69 72 73; N Coles 69 71 72 73. 289 S Hobday 72 72 74 71; G Player (SA) 73 76 69 71. 290 A Proctor (US) 72 74 70 74; A Palmer (US) 70 72 72 76. 292 D Douglass (US) 78 70 73 71; J Garaialde (Fr) 75 74 68 75. 293 J Ferree (US) 76 75 72 70; B Zimmerman (US) 73 73 75 72; C O'Connor 72 72 74 75; J Hirsch (US) 71 72 70 80. 294 V Thabalala (SA) 74 72 75 73; M Damiano (Fr) 75 75 70 74. 295 B Verwey (SA) 71 76 75 73. 296 B Huggett 75 74 70 77; M Noon 72 66 76 82. 297 D Smith (US) 77 71 74 75, R Rawlins (US) 76 70 74 77. 298 C Mehok (US) 76 71 75 76. 299 J M Roca (Sp) 78 67 77 77. 300 D Jimenez (US) 78 74 75 73; R Fidler 77 73 75 75; B Waites 76 73 75 76; R Smethurst 72 79 72 77; B Carter 76 72 74 78; G Edwards 73 76 73 78; R Terry (US) 75 71 75 79.

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