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Retief Goosen wins PGA Tour Champions’ 2024 Galleri Classic

Retief Goosen wins PGA Tour Champions’ 2024 Galleri Classic

Sometimes all you need to win a golf tournament is a par. That’s what worked for Retief Goosen on Sunday in winning the second annual Galleri Classic during a soggy final round at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Fighting just for a good finish after a sluggish start to his final round, Goosen turned into the last man standing on a day when he had been a forgotten figure for much of the rainy final 18 holes.

With Steven Alker putting together a stunning bogey-bogey finish, Goosen survived hitting his approach into the lake on the par-5 18th hole of the Dinah Shore Tournament Course by rolling in an eight-foot par putt. Alker, still with a chance to win, also hit into the lake in front of the island green with his second shot but failed to get up and down.

“I wouldn’t call it thrilling.” Goosen laughed about the frenetic finish. “I mean, it was more of a disaster for me and Stevie to get to the last hole and the last couple of holes.”

The wild finish allowed Goosen to post a bogey-free 3-under 69 Sunday for a three-day total of 13-under 203. Alker’s 70 dropped him to 12-under for the week, tied with Alex Cejka and overnight leader Ricardo Gonzalez for second place. It also allowed Goosen to rally from three shots back with nine holes to play.

“I was just trying to hang in there and say to myself, you know what, let’s just play solid and at least get a top-5 or something,” said Goosen, who hit just 10 greens in regulation on the day but was eight for eight scrambling. “Then suddenly everybody started sort of coming back and that’s when, after I made the birdie on 15, I was like I have a chance to win this.”

Cejka, at one time tied at 14-under with Alker and Gonzalez, finished with a 70 that included bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes. Gonzalez struggled with all parts of his game on the back nine from errant drives to key missed putts but still posted a 71 with two birdies and three bogeys in his final six holes.

“I kind of hit the shots I wanted and went with them,” Alker said of the closing holes. “Yeah, just putting wasn’t — just didn’t make some putts I should have, the three-putt on 17 there. So felt fine, my long game felt good, just didn’t get it done.”

The crowd in the grandstands surrounding the 18th green gave a subdued reaction as Goosen sank the winning putt, not because they weren’t happy for him, but they were still trying to do the math of exactly what happened.


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