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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 July, 2003, 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK
Woosnam feeling low
Ian Woosnam struggled at Sandwich
It's better than not playing in it and better than someone who hasn't made the cut
Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam brought the curtain down on an emotional week of golf at Sandwich on Sunday, when he led the way around Royal St George's in the final round of the Open.

A seven over par score during Saturday's third round put the Welshman at the back of the field on 15 over par, meaning he was first off on Sunday.

Compatriot Philip Price was in a far better position, starting the day three shots off the lead at two over par and looking to challenge for the title.

That honour went to Price's playing partner, rookie American Ben Curtis who triumphed with a one under par final score.

It looked good when Price moved to level par at the turn, but a horrendous back nine - including a double bogie six at the 17th - put paid to any hopes and he finished tied in 10th place at four over par.

"At the beginning of the tournament I would have been reasonably happy to finish on four over par," Price said.

"But to have come so close on the leaderboard and then to fall away is very disappointing.

"The back nine has been tough all weekend on every competitor and it is very unforgiving on any errors."

As the odd man out of the remaining 73 golfers, Woosnam was forced to play with a stand-in - the son of a course official.

He had to battle through qualifying just to make it into the main draw - the first time he has had to take that route in 22 Opens - chipping in from the greenside to grab the a final qualifying spot in a play-off.

The back nine has been tough all weekend
Phil Price

Woosnam finished off with a four over 75 for a disappointing 19-over total but was philosophical about his rollercoaster week.

"It's better than not playing in it and better than someone who hasn't made the cut," Woosnam said.

"If you look at how I was feeling last week, I've done well to make the Open and make the cut.

"I'm a little disappointed with the the last two rounds but my swing doesn't feel too bad actually.

"My feet ache and my body's aching and I just want to have a couple of days relaxing really. The physios have told me to just let my body settle down a little bit."

There won't be too much settling down for Woosnam, however, as he is down to play in the Irish Open at Portmarnock.

But his long-term goal is to succeed Sam Torrance as European Ryder Cup captain next year at Oakland Hills in Detroit.

However, he might also be prepared to wait for when the trans-Atlantic battles is held in Wales at Newport's Celtic Manor in 2010.

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