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Goosen aims to trip up Monty at Hong Kong Open

Gofer Retief Goosen, who captained the International Team in Ryder Cup last year wants to defeat US ace Colin Montgomeirie's team in UBS Hong Kong Open.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 15:18 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

World number five Retief Goosen is plotting to upstage defending champion Colin Montgomerie at the two million dollars UBS Hong Kong Open, which tees off on Thursday.

Goosen captained the International Team to victory over Monty's men, a combined Europe-United States side, in the first Goodwill Trophy at China's Mission Hills Golf Club on Tuesday and he wants to keep the momentum going.

Montgomerie and Chris Di Marco were hammered by Goosen and Michael Campbell of New Zealand in the foursomes and his one-hole win over the South African in the singles failed to save his side from overall defeat.
"Colin beat me by a hole in the singles (at the Goodwill Trophy) but maybe I will be one shot better than him come Sunday at the Hong Kong Open," said two-time US Open champion Goosen.

"There is a really strong field here this week and I will have to be at my best to win, nobody is going to give it to me. I will have to get my A-game going to win."

Goosen led going into the final round of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai on last Sunday before his putting let him down.

"It was disappointing not to win last week - I could not make a putt (in the final round)," added Goosen, who is grooving a reworked swing.

"The changes (to my swing) will take time. Old habits tend to creep back in. But the last few days in the Goodwill Trophy I hit a lot of good shots and, hopefully, I can carry them into this week."

Campbell, who finished joint third with Goosen in the HSBC Champions thanks to a sizzling final round 64, comes into the Hong Kong Open, the second event on the 2007 European Tour schedule, at the top of his form.

"I feel pretty good right now, confidant and right on the crest of a wave after a 64 on Sunday," said Campbell.
"I am looking forward to taking on Retief (Goosen) and Colin (Montgomerie). It is a golf course I really enjoy playing."

The big name players in the field are wary of the formidable Asian presence following the back-to-back successes of India's Jeev Milkha Singh in the Volvo Masters and Yang Yong-eun of Korea in the HSBC Champions.

Singh, Korea's K.J. Choi, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour including the Chrysler Championship in October, and former Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand are expected to lead the challenge.

The Asian Tour jointly sanctions the Hong Kong Open and Singh can wrap up the money list race with a good finish.

He leads Prom Meesawat of Thailand with just two events remaining but is worried about the recurrence of a wrist injury.

"I injured my right wrist in Japan six weeks ago and it is still bothering me," said Singh, who was on the winning International Team at the Goodwill Trophy.

"My doctor says I need time off but that is what I cannot do right now. I am in a position to play well and move into the world's top-50 and also win the UBS Asian Tour Order of Merit."

Montgomerie's victory here last year was his 30th on the European Tour and the big Scot is running out of time to win a tournament in 2006.

"I am desperate to win this year as I have never gone a calendar year (since the early 1990s) without winning a title," he said recently.

"I benefited from my fair share of luck on my way to winning last year (leader James Kingston double bogeyed the last). I'm looking forward to trying my luck at successfully defending the title."

First Published: Nov 15, 2006 15:18 IST