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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 June, 2005, 23:12 GMT 00:12 UK
Goosen suffers Pinehurst meltdown
Retief Goosen
Overnight leader Retief Goosen endured a stunning last-day collapse to crash out of contention at the US Open.

Goosen was three shots clear going into the final round and a hot favourite to defend his title.

But six dropped shots in the first nine holes derailed his challenge and five straight bogeys from the 12th saw the 36-year-old slide down the leaderboard.

Playing partner Jason Gore suffered an even worse fate, carding an 84 to fall from second to a tie for 49th.

There was nothing I could do - I just couldn't stop the bleeding
Jason Gore

"I messed up badly," said Goosen, the two-time US Open champion.

"I obviously threw this away, but I'll be back next year. We all have bad rounds. It's unfortunate it happened in this tournament.

The world number five added: "I got off to a bad start and from there on it pretty much went downhill the whole way.

"Going down 10, I was still thinking of winning the tournament. I felt I was still not out of it. I just needed to stay in the hunt.

"After I didn't birdie 10 and 11 and made a bogey on 12, I was just on a walk and going home.

"I'm very disappointed the way things turned out. Coming down the last nine it was just getting off the course.

"I haven't putted this badly for a long time. I felt fine. It was just one of those days. I couldn't make a putt to save my life.

"It was disappointing. I would have loved to have given myself half a chance down the stretch. Oh well, next time.

"Hopefully I learned something from this and it will help me in the next major.

"I'm looking forward to the British Open. This week was great practice for St Andrews."

Gil Morgan was the last 54-hole leader at the US Open to fade so unceremoniously, shooting 81 in the final round in 1992 at Pebble Beach.

Goosen and Gore managed a combined 25-over par for the closing round and resorted to playing each other for five dollars on the last three holes.

"We had to play for something and he messed up (double bogeyed) the last hole so I won five bucks," said Goosen.

But at least Gore's tie for 49th finish will move up from his 818th spot in the world rankings.

"There was nothing I could do - I just couldn't stop the bleeding," he said.

Olin Browne, another journeyman American pro who enjoyed a few days in the limelight at Pinehurst, also suffered on Sunday.

Playing alongside Campbell, Browne slipped back down the leaderboard to finish 10-over for the tournament and the day.


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