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  Monday, 18 June, 2001, 20:58 GMT 21:58 UK
Goosen takes US Open title
Retief Goosen savours his victory at Southern Hills
Retief Goosen savours his victory at Southern Hills
Retief Goosen has claimed the US Open title after beating Mark Brooks in an 18 hole play-off.

The South African put the horror of his three putts on the final hole on Sunday evening behind him and finished two shots ahead of Brooks with a level-par 70.

"It's been a long week but it has been amazing", Goosen said after he ensured victory with a stuttering finish over the last two holes.

Goosen had started equally slowly but grew into the contest and made a decisive move at the turn.

Retief Goosen lines up a putt
Goosen's putting was the difference
After both players saw their third shots at the opening par-four lip out of the hole Brooks made the first move with a birdie at the third.

But after saving pars on the opening four holes Goosen settled and drew level with a birdie of his own at the par-three sixth.

With the honour and the initiative Goosen never looked back and stamped his authority on the contest at the turn.

He reached the ninth at one-under with a one-shot lead but within two holes had opened up a decisive five shot lead.

And ironically, after throwing away the title on the final green the evening before, it was the South African's putting that held the key.

He read the greens with scholarly precision and holed two birdie putts despite huge borrow on the greens whilst his playing partner could only card a brace of bogeys.

Goosen sank an 18 foot, left-to-right breaking putt at the 374-yard ninth and followed it with an equally difficult but telling effort from 15 feet on the 10th.

The 32-year-old European tour player was also able to call on a wealth of experience of strokeplay matches as the pressure mounted in the closing stages.

Mark Brooks
Brooks reflects on a missed opportunity
In 1997 and 1998 he won 10 consecutive matches at the Dunhill Cup and he was always able to hold Brooks at a safe distance of five shots throughout the majority of the back nine.

Brooks, who was repeatedly let down by poor shots off the tee and around the greens, only made an inroad into Goosen's lead at the 17th but the two shot swing proved too little too late.

The American, buoyed by his home crowd, took the honour for the first time since his assured opening, but he lost any late momentum when his tee shot found the rough.

Goosen dropped another shot as he nervously edged his ball towards the pin but he was not going to mirror his efforts of 24 hours earlier and on this occasion three putts were enough to give him his fifth title, but most significantly, his first Major.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC golf correspondent Tony Adamson
"Goosen could even afford two finishing bogeys"
Runner-up Mark Brooks
"He played a lot of great shots"
US Open champion Retief Goosen
"I started hitting the ball a lot better a few weeks ago"
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