After an easy first day last Thursday, the over-50 set struggled mightily at venerable Firestone County Club’s famous South Course.
Steve Stricker fell by the way and a lot of others did as well but late Sunday afternoon, it was Hall of Famer Retief Goosen standing in the winner’s circle at the Senior Players Championship.
Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champ, put the hammer down on the last two holes and won his first senior major.
The South African star stood on the 17th tee, tied with Jay Haas and journeyman Tim Petrovic at four-under par. Goosen played the tough hole ultra-conservative with a four-iron off the tee. “I hit it heavy but I only had a seven-iron in,” said Goosen, who hit that seven iron within 12-feet and holed the birdie putt to take a one-shot lead. He then slammed the door shut with a huge drive at 18 then a pitching wedge to five feet for a birdie-birdie finish and a six-under par winning score.
“I knew it was gonna play tough for everyone,” Goosen said afterward. “So I tried to just hand in there. To finish birdie-birdie around this course, I’ll take it every time. Nice to pull this one off.”
Sei Young Kim Too Tough For Lexi, And Everyone Else:
Everyone was looking forward to a Sei Young Kim/Lexi Thompson showdown on Sunday at the Marathon Classic but Kim had other ideas.
There would be no showdown.
Five straight birdies by Kim, starting at the seventh hole, took her to 22-under par and on her way to victory. At that point, she built a six-shot lead over Thompson, who started the day a shot back of the South Korean star.
A birdie-eagle finish by Thompson trimmed the final margin of victory to just two shots but the title was out of reach.
It was Kim’s ninth LPGA Tour victory and her second this season. She’ll be moving up in the world rankings. She’s currently at No. 12.