Goosen bounces back with impressive win

Monday, April 8, 2002

DULUTH, Ga. -- Retief Goosen knows how to bounce back from disappointment, which he showed again Sunday in the BellSouth Classic.

The South African won for the second time in an American tournament, overcoming a dismal start to put away Phil Mickelson and claim a four-stroke victory over Jesper Parnevik.

Goosen, who earned $684,000, closed with a 2-under-par 70 in difficult conditions on the TPC at Sugarloaf, finishing at 16-under 272.

Parnevik, who posted 65 early in the day for a 276, wasn't even around when the winner finished.

Mickelson appeared to be Goosen's main challenger, starting the final round two strokes back. The left-hander briefly claimed the lead, only to fade to a 73 and wind up five shots behind.

"Phil did not play as well as he would have liked," Goosen said. "I was just trying to hang in there."

Goosen headed off to the Masters -- about a two-hour drive away -- with the kind of short game that makes him a contender for his second major championship.

The first came last summer, when Goosen won the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in an 18-hole playoff over Mark Brooks. Goosen missed an 18-inch putt that would have given him the victory in regulation, but he put that bitter experience out of his mind and beat Brooks by two strokes.

Goosen needed similar tunnel vision on Sunday. He started his round with a bogey, then took a double-bogey at the par-3 second, requiring two shots just to escape a bunker.

After beginning the day with a two-stroke advantage over Mickelson, Goosen suddenly found himself two shots behind.

"That was quite a start," he said. "I just concentrated on staying focused. I knew there were still 16 holes to play."

Mickelson birdied the second hole, but struggled the rest of the way. Errant iron play -- he hit only five of 18 greens in regulation -- and shaky putting negated the impact of his booming drives.

"I hit a lot of good shots, but it was so hard to get the ball close to the flag," Mickelson said. "It's hard to describe."

Office Depot

LOS ANGELES -- Se Ri Pak outplayed Annika Sorenstam to win the Office Depot Championship.

Pak, who led Sorenstam by three shots going into the last round of the 54-hole event, carded a 1-over-par 73 to finish at 7-under 209, one stroke in front of Sorenstam. She had a closing 71 and earned $150,000.

Legends of Golf

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Doug Tewell added to his impressive senior tour resume with a victory in the Legends of Golf.

Tewell shot 2-under 70 to finish the tournament at 11-under 205, one stroke better than Bobby Wadkins, who made a late run with a 66 in the final round.

The 52-year-old Tewell, who won for the second time this season, earned $306,000, bringing his career earnings on tour to $3.99 million.

--From wire reports

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