Glorious Goosen grabs lead

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Retief Goosen, unable to win a match at last week’s Presidents Cup, leads the Portugal Masters with a round to play in Vilamoura.

Retief Goosen, unable to win a match at last week’s Presidents Cup, leads the Portugal Masters with a round to play in Vilamoura.
The 40-year-old South African, chasing his first European Tour victory for more than two and a half years, fired a second successive 64 to move from three behind Italian Francesco Molinari to one in front.
That included pitching in for eagle at the second and chipping in for birdie at the 15th, just the sort of stuff International captain Greg Norman would have been hoping for against the Americans in San Francisco.
Goosen had three defeats and a half there and was even left out of one session, but now he is on course for a first prize of nearly £458,000 at Oceanico Vilamoura.
He is also the first man in Europe this season to reach 20 under after 54 holes.
Lee Westwood lies third on 17 under after a two-birdie finish gave him a 66, and second place will almost certainly be good enough tomorrow to take him top of the European money list.
Rory McIlroy, who took over the number one spot at St Andrews less than two weeks ago, is down in 53rd place and admits he is powerless to prevent his stablemate going above him.
But Westwood mimicked Seve Ballesteros when he said: “Second eez is no good.
“That’s what Billy (his caddie Billy Foster) keeps telling me. It’s what Seve always said to him when they were together.
“I’m not even thinking about the money list. I’m just trying to win the Portugal Masters, and that’s hard enough.”
Westwood has gone over two years without a victory anywhere – Goosen has tasted success in Asia, Africa and America in the last 12 months –
and in that time, of course, has twice come desperately close to capturing his first major title.
“I’ve just got to get a few breaks,” the Englishman added. “To birdie the last two feels pretty good. A 68 would have felt a poor score.”
He two-putted the long 17th and then hit his approach over the water to seven feet on the last.
“Billy thought it was a little nine-iron, but I had the confidence to hit a hard wedge. That was the only way to get close – it was a sucker flag and I was a sucker and went for it.”
Goosen, out-scoring playing partner Padraig Harrington by seven, had already birdied the first when he sank his approach to the next.
He was already seven under for the day when he two-putted the 547-yard 12th – Harrington was in the lake there – but found water himself off the 14th tee and dropped his only shot.
Chipping in on the next was a real bonus and he added another birdie at the 17th.
“Last week was very disappointing for me, but the last two days have obviously been great,” said Goosen.
“On Sunday (in a singles clash with Phil Mickelson which he lost on the 17th) I hit the ball very nicely, but made only one putt.”
Harrington’s 71 dropped him from third to ninth and he now has six shots to make up, while Justin Rose – second after an opening 65 –
is down to 19th on 11 under after a 70.
Goosen’s 64 was matched by Oliver Wilson as he moved from 29th to tied fifth, but with a five-stroke deficit a 10th second place might be on the cards for the Ryder Cup star.
Wilson has still to taste victory and with his father awaiting tests for the bladder cancer diagnosed earlier this year, he said: “There is only one person in the world who wants me to win more than me and that’s him.”
Biggest crash of the day came from Alastair Forsyth, down from sixth to 53rd with a 77 that contained two double bogey sevens and a quadruple bogey eight.
Fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie felt pretty much the same when he came off, though. After playing the first 12 in six under he finished bogey, double bogey after going in the water both times. He is now eight under and 40th.
McIlroy has struggled on the greens all week and on five under commented: “Even if I shoot a really good score here I’m not going to get anywhere. In terms of the Race to Dubai it’s not going to make any difference what I do tomorrow.
“I’m now thinking towards the Match Play.” His next event is the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain starting on Thursday week.
Collated third round scores & totals in the European Tour Portugal Masters, Oceanico Victoria Clube de Golfe, Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal.
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

196 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 68 64 64
197 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 63 66 68
199 Lee Westwood 66 67 66
200 Pablo Martin (Spa) 66 66 68
201 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 65 65 71, Gareth Maybin 69 67 65, Oliver Wilson 67 70 64, Peter Lawrie 68 68 65
202 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned) 68 67 67, Peter Hanson (Swe) 71 65 66, James Kingston (Rsa) 71 64 67, Padraig Harrington 69 62 71, Oliver Fisher 67 67 68
203 Marcel Siem (Ger) 67 69 67, Danny Willett 69 68 66, Johan Edfors (Swe) 69 66 68
204 David Lynn 71 67 66, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 68 65 71
205 Scott Drummond 68 69 68, Peter Hedblom (Swe) 69 70 66, Simon Khan 66 68 71, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 70 68 67, Anthony Wall 68 67 70, Stephen Dodd 71 64 70, Justin Rose 65 70 70, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 71 68 66, Bradley Dredge 66 70 69
206 Damien McGrane 69 67 70, Paul Waring 69 71 66, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 69 69 68, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 69 67 70, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 70 70 66, Shane Lowry 70 65 71, Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa) 71 67 68, Miles Tunnicliff 68 68 70
207 Darren Clarke 69 68 70, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den) 66 73 68, Paul McGinley 70 69 68, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 73 67 67
208 Marc Warren 68 67 73, Colin Montgomerie 68 71 69, Tano Goya (Arg) 70 66 72, Ben Curtis (USA) 68 68 72, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70 67 71
209 Jose-Filipe Lima (Por) 67 70 72, Steve Webster 71 67 71, Alexander Noren (Swe) 70 70 69, Anders Hansen (Den) 69 71 69, Francois Delamontagne (Fra) 69 69 71, Taco Remkes (Ned) 71 68 70, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 69 71 69, Paul Broadhurst 70 68 71
210 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 68 70 72, Robert Rock 70 68 72, Rory McIlroy 69 70 71, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 69 70 71, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 71 69 70, Alastair Forsyth 65 68 77
211 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 72 67 72, Jarmo Sandelin (Swe) 72 68 71, Phillip Price 68 72 71, Ross McGowan 69 71 71
212 Simon Dyson 70 67 75
213 Shaun Micheel (USA) 70 70 73
214 Gary Lockerbie 73 67 74, Daniel Vancsik (Arg) 70 70 74, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 71 69 74, John Bickerton 69 69 76, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 74

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