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South Africa cruise to World Cup triumph

November 17, 2003 11:00 IST

South Africans Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini shot a final round one-over-par 73 to cruise to victory by four strokes over England in the World Golf Championship-World Cup on Sunday.

The South Africa team finished at 13-under-par 275 and split the $1.4 million first prize at the par-72 Ocean Course.

England's Justin Rose and Paul Casey shot a five-under-par 67 in the foursome format to finish at nine-under 279.

France (71) finished third at eight-under 280 followed by Germany (71) at six-under 282 and Ireland (67) and the United States (75) at four-under 284.

South Africa triumphed for the fifth time in the 50-year history of the event to lift the World Cup again after Ernie Els and Retief Goosen last won the title in 2001.

"Basically, it's a fantastic feeling," Immelman said. "Any time you win anything, let alone a World Golf event, an event where you're representing your country, it's a tremendous honour for both of us."

The South Africans began the day with a seven-stroke lead over France and the United States and began slipping back to the field with a bogey at the par-four fourth and an outward 37.

"The front nine was tough," Immelman said. "We really had to hang in there. We made a lot of great par saves. We both kind of found our games on the back and started playing like we played the first three days."

They did not start much better on the back nine, though, as the South Africans made bogey at the par-four 10th.

When England birdied the par-four 15th South Africa's lead was cut to just three strokes but they got back to four in front after a birdie at the par-five 11th and managed to maintain at least a four stroke advantage after that.

"South Africa, they were 10 ahead of us at the beginning of the day, so we couldn't really realistically look at them," Rose said. "We could look at second and if South Africa had a nightmare we could be there."

The American squad of Jim Furyk and Justin Leonard continued to struggle on the greens and slipped down the leaderboard with their 75. Shortly afterwards, the pair were headed to South Africa for this week's Presidents Cup.

"We get to South Africa (Monday) evening, I think around 9 pm," Furyk said. "That week starts very fast. We'll be a little tired at the beginning of the week, but I think so will everyone else."

Stuart Hall
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