Goosen holds off Clarke and Hoey

Darren Clarke failed to win the Africa Open but moved closer to a place in next month's Accenture Match Play Championship.

The Ulsterman and comaptriot Michael Hoey finished just a stroke adrift of winner Retief Goosen in a four-way tie for second place at windswept East London.

But the world ranking points will be useful for world No 73 Clarke, 40, who will move closer to the top 64 who qualify for the World Golf Championships event in Arizona in six weeks' time.

Goosen three-putted the last but his sizzling final round 65 set a 21-under par clubhouse target that joint overnight leader Clarke and the chasing bunch failed to match.

Clarke needed to birdie one of the last two holes to force a play-off but could only manage two pars for a 70 and finished up sharing second with Fichardt, Branden Grace and Hoey, who had scorched up the leaderboard with a final round 66.

Clarke and Hoey earned around €26,000 each with Goosen relieved to take the title after his final hole bogey.

The South African said: "I was very surprised that none of the other guys got to 21-under, so I was lucky with that mistake.”

Clarke and Goosen willclash again in this week's Qatar Masters with the South African confident he is on the way back to form after clinching his second win in the space of two months.

Goosen said: "I am probably the fittest now that I’ve been in the last five years. I’m looking forward the season ahead."