Mickelson, Goosen win 5 and 3

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. -- Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson
put away Tiger Woods and John Daly so convincingly that they barely
needed the lights in the final installment of Monday Night Golf.
Goosen, a late substitute for the exhibition, birdied five of
the last seven holes and six overall as he and Mickelson beat Woods
and Daly 5 and 3 in the "Battle at The Bridges" on Monday night.
Woods was a loser in the seventh and final installment of Monday
Night Golf, which was started to get him on prime time. He wants to
take a break from these exhibitions -- in which he was 4-3 -- and
focus on majors. He was playing eight days after his dominating
British Open win. He also won the Masters and was second in the
U.S. Open.
Organizers had portable lights set up on the 15th green and
along the final three holes. But Goosen ended the match in the
fading twilight when he hit an approach shot within 4 feet on the
par-4, 411-yard 15th, then sank a birdie putt.
Woods and Daly needed to win the 15th to keep the best-ball
match going, but both got into trouble with errant tee shots.
Organizers tried to get the Big Four for this year's exhibition,
but Vijay Singh didn't want to play and Ernie Els pulled out. They
had to settle for three of the top five in the world rankings plus
the ever-popular Daly.
Daly and Goosen flew in from Germany on Sunday night after
playing in the Players' Championship of Europe. Daly tied for third
and Goosen missed the cut of the rain-delayed tournament, meaning
he had to wait around a day to catch a ride on Daly's private jet.
The exhibition at the exclusive Bridges club north of San Diego
was fairly unremarkable until Goosen made consecutive birdie putts
on the par-4 10th and the par-3 11th -- Woods missed birdie putts on
both holes -- for a 3-up lead. Goosen had missed his first three
greens of the match.
It didn't hurt that Mickelson provided local knowledge. He
belongs to The Bridges, where memberships start at $350,000.
After Woods birdied the 426-yard, par-4 12th, Mickelson hit a
sand wedge to 8 inches on the 379-yard, par-4 13th and was conceded
a birdie putt that restored he and Goosen's 3-up lead.
Goosen then birdied the par-4 14th after Woods rolled a birdie
putt just left.
Not only was this the final year of the contract with sponsor
Lincoln Financial, but ratings have plunged since the format went
away from head-to-head competition after Sergio Garcia beat Woods
at Bighorn in 2000.
Daly at least provided plenty of humor in the hit-and-giggle
On the driving range about an hour before the match, in the
blazing sun, Daly hit four shots and declared: "That's it. I'm
sweating," then stepped back and lit a cigarette.
After hitting out of a bunker on No. 3, he said: "This is some
thick stuff. A fat man can get lost in this." The hefty Daly
emerged from the trap and weakly rolled his first putt. "Remind
me, I've got to hit it next time," he quipped to Woods.
Daly's next drive found the water.
"Talk about the shot of the day," he said. "I feel like
diving in there to wake up, I guess. That's just horrible."