South Africa prove worth of 'reserves'

South Africa were closing in on their second World Cup title in three years at Kiawah Island yesterday evening.

Ernie Els and Retief Goosen turned down the chance to regain the title they won in Japan two years ago, but Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini were proving more than capable deputies.

They began the final-day foursomes with a seven-shot lead following a superb 63 in Saturday's fourballs, and were still five ahead after going to the turn in 37.

The United States team of Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard and the French pair of Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin remained South Africa's nearest challengers on eight under par, both teams picking up one shot to that point.

England's Paul Casey and Justin Rose had moved into fourth place with four birdies in the first 11 holes, while the round of the day was coming from Ireland's Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley.

Out of contention to repeat their 1997 win here since a second-round 77, the Ryder Cup team-mates carded a 67 on Saturday and were five under for 14 holes yesterday to lie four under for the tournament.

* Kiyoshi Murota claimed the Taiheiyo Masters title by six strokes in Shizuoka despite finishing one over par for the final round. The 48-year-old had snatched the lead from the Open champion, Ben Curtis, with a 10-under-par 62 on Saturday after scoring four birdies on the first five holes and picking up six more on the back nine without dropping a shot.

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