Golf: Woods holds off Goosen charge

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The Independent Online
TIGER WOODS left Germany with pounds 800,000 of the sponsors' money - but he will be more than welcome back again next year. The 23-year-old American justified the hype - and his reported appearance fee of over pounds 600,000 - as he claimed his second European Tour title at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe here yesterday.

The former Masters champion fired a third successive round of 68, four under par, to hold off a spirited challenge from the South African Retief Goosen and Zimbabwe's Nick Price and give the sell-out crowd the result they had flocked to see.

His total of 273, 15 under par, gave him the pounds 200,000 first prize and moved him back to No 2 in the world rankings behind David Duval. Goosen finished three behind on 12 under after a closing 66 while Price, the 1994 Open champion, fired a brilliant 65 to equal the course record he set only 24 hours earlier.

"The key was staying very patient," said Woods, who only had three bogeys all week. "The scores weren't going to be as low as people thought they were but I played well the entire week and got better as it went on. I got the start I wanted when I was three under after seven and I felt like I had a good lead but when Nick [Price] was moving up the leaderboard I felt very nervous."

Peter Baker and Brian Davis may not fall into that category, but they can be proud of their efforts playing in the final group with Woods who commanded nearly all of the gallery's attention. Baker, the 31-year-old from Wolverhampton, finished fourth after a final round of 71 while the 24-year-old Londoner Davis finished a shot further back in joint fifth place with Ernie Els after a 72.

Scores, Digest, page 29

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