Sunshine Tour

Goosen sizzles at Sun City

2013-11-17 19:33
Retief Goosen (AP Photo)

Sun City - The 2013 Gary Player Invitational produced one of the most memorable finishes in the history of this charity tournament when Retief Goosen led his team to a playoff victory at the Lost City Golf Course on Sunday.

And ultimately, the double US Open champion relied on a magnificent birdie putt from businessman and 16-handicapper Mike Dladla to carry the team to victory on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

A final push by Goosen's team of former Proteas cricketer Herschelle Gibbs and businessmen Anthony Leeming and Dladla saw them tie for the lead with the team of Swedish professional Niclas Fasth, actor Anthony Anderson and businessmen Chuck Colton and Greg Whittaker on 27 under par after the regulation 36 holes.

Playing the par-five 18th again, Dladla then holed a tremendous birdie putt that allowed Goosen to tap in his two-foot putt for the victory.

"I told Mike to at least two-putt because we would've won on a count-out.

"But he hit it straight and firm and in it went," said Goosen.

"It was quite a turnaround for us because in regulation play we played 17 in one over par and only made three points on it, so we thought we were out of it coming down 18.

"But then we saw them struggling a bit as they were all left in the trees. I made birdie on 18 and Anthony did the same, so it was a big turnaround for us."

It was a thrilling finish to a tournament that raised over R4 million through The Player Foundation for the two appointed charities, the Wildlands Conservation Trust, and Wings and Wishes.

"I want to thank all of our sponsors who made for such a special week. This was by far the best tournament we have had," said host Gary Player.

Finishing second was a tough blow for the team of Fasth, who were first into the clubhouse and convinced they had done enough for a victory.

Third place went to the team of Tony Johnstone, DJ Thomas Msengana and businessmen Phil Grindrod and Daryl Bernhard on 25 under par.

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