Archive for Sunday, November 2, 2003

Goosen cooks field at Chrysler

Baird trails by two, Singh by three entering final round

November 2, 2003

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— Retief Goosen looked unflappable as ever Saturday in the Chrysler Championship on his way to a 4-under-par 67 and a two-stroke lead.

Not long after he finished, however, he already was looking over his shoulder.

Briny Baird had a 66 and was two strokes behind, but the name that got Goosen's attention was Vijay Singh.

The big Fijian had six birdies over his final 11 holes and matched the low round of the tournament, a 6-under 65 that left him only three strokes behind and in the final group today, a familiar position.

A victory by Singh would clinch the money title and end Tiger Woods' four-year reign. Otherwise, it would be decided next week at the Tour Championship.

"If I do, I do. If I don't, I don't," Singh shrugged. "I've still got a chance next week. He still has to beat me next week to pass me."

Beating Goosen is no picnic.

The former U.S. Open champion is a tough front-runner, and he is playing well on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook.

Goosen was at 11-under 202 and has a good chance to win on the PGA Tour for the third consecutive year. He overcame a few mental mistakes on the back nine with an approach that stopped 6 feet from the hole for a birdie on No. 18.

"Obviously, Vijay is trying to win to finish off the money title," Goosen said. "I'm trying to win it to get into the Mercedes (Championships at Kapalua). One of us will be unhappy."

Overlooked in the final group is Baird, who is 35th on the money list and figured he would need a top-five finish to get into the Tour Championship.

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