Golf: Goosen beats bogey to take French Open

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The Independent Online
THE SOUTH African Retief Goosen took his third European Tour title with an impressive display of mind over matter in Bordeaux. The 30-year- old from Johannesburg claimed the first prize with a par on the second extra hole in the Novotel Perrier Open de France.

This was after finishing tied on a 12-under-par total of 272 with 36- year-old playing partner Greg Turner of New Zealand.

Both players had fired one-under closing rounds of 70 to finish three clear of the field and take the pounds 600,000 tournament at Golf du Medoc into sudden death. And it was Goosen who reaped the benefits of months of work with a psychologist by holding his nerve to reclaim a title he won back in 1997.

"This year didn't start too well when I broke my arm skiing in Switzerland and was out for two months," said Goosen, who helped South Africa retain the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews last year.

"Mentally I wasn't very with it, my confidence was very low after coming back and I felt I needed some help. I've been working hard with Belgian psychologist Joss Vantisphout since February and it's helped me get my mind back on track."

In New Orleans, Lee Westwood withdrew from the Compaq Classic after a shoulder injury hindered his third round. The defending champion had survived the half-way cut by just one stroke after opening scores of 70 and 71 and dropped to two-under 214 following a 73 on the third day three.

Scores, Digest, page 9