The Goose to drive home in luxury Volvo

by John Botha on

Retief Goosen became the first player to eagle the 17th hole, and by doing so he won a Volvo S80 D5.

Goosen had been experiencing mixed fortunes on the course where he was crowned champion of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2004. “I was playing solidly on the front nine,” said Goosen, who reached the turn in 2-under par, and then birdied the 10th and 11th holes. Two pars followed, but after a wayward second shot on the 14th, the result of mud on his ball, he dropped his first shot of the day. Then on the par four 15th a poor tee shot resulted in him having to declare his ball unplayable. He eventually made a double-bogey six, but the unflappable Goosen then made a regulation par on the short 16th before holing a 120-metre sand wedge for a two on the par four 17th. “I had been looking for elephants on the 14th and 15th holes – and then found an eagle on the 17th,” he joked. “I was playing with a Swede, and then I won a Swedish car,” added a delighted Goosen.

Goosen has had a total of eight holes-in-one during his professional career, three of these coming in tournaments, but he has never won a car or any other special prize.

Described as Volvo’s flagship of “elegant design and excellent driving pleasure”, the vehicle is plush and elegant with a healthy measure of aggression. Equally delighted with Goosen’s windfall was Michelle Naudé of Volvo Car South Africa Marketing. “We are really happy that the car was won, particularly by a South African – this is the first time it has happened,” she says. The Volvo S80 D5 is valued at more than R460 000, and besides featuring Volvo’s legendary safety features, is also something very different. “The driving and comfort properties of this vehicle are absolutely top level,” says Naudé, who added that if one of the Swedish players had made the eagle, it might have been something of a waste. “We are delighted that Retief will be driving away in the Volvo – we couldn’t have hoped for a better player to model for us,” she said.

After removing his ball from the hole, Goosen gleefully threw his ball towards the car which was parked on a raft in the lake which borders the 17th hole. “They tell me that my ball actually hit the car – well it is now my car so I can do what I like,” said Goosen.

After all the excitement, Goosen eventually signed for a 69 placing him in joint second place with Tim Clark behind Robert Allenby.

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