There was little doubt about the star of the show as far as the South Africans were concerned. Goosen, the unsung member of the trio, finished the week with five wins out of five for the second successive year.
Now, with a straight 10 out of 10, Goosen is top of the class - and on course to beat Greg Norman’s Alfred Dunhill Cup record of 11 consecutive individual wins.
Els sung the praises of his consistent team-mate, and even advised observers to consider Goosen for the Open at St. Andrews in the year 2000!
He enthused: “Retief is a very tough guy to beat on this golf course. You could put anybody up against him and they would get a tough game. He’s a wonderful player. He’s just got to start winning major tournaments now.
“He’s proved he can win tournaments around the world. We’ll probably have to go and put some money on him to win the Open here in 2000.”
Goosen defeated Santiago Luna 72-73 on a chilly afternoon at the Home of Golf and admitted: “I’m looking forward to next year to see if I can break Greg Norman’s record of 11 wins. It should be interesting to come back.”
Els, meanwhile, edged out Spanish skipper , José Maria Olazábal, 75-77 while Frost shot 76 to the 78 of Miguel Angel Jiménez.
“I hope we’re back for the hat-trick next year,” commented Frost. “With two guys like these two on the team - what more do you want? I’m just there in case something goes wrong.”
The Spanish reached their first final against the odds. In the semi-final, the unheralded trio of Olazábal, Jiménez and Luna faced the might of the United States in the formidable form of World No1 Tiger Woods, Masters and Open champion Mark O’Meara and 1995 Open champion John Daly, a man with an undisputed pedigree over the Old Course.
In the group stages, the USA appeared virtually invincible as they rolled over England and Japan then edged out Sweden with Tiger Woods twice reducing the famous old links to 66 blows.
However it was a different story in the semi-final against Spain, who knocked out Scotland in Group 2 thanks to Jiménez’s birdie at the first extra hole against Colin Montgomerie following a brave birdie at the 18th by Andrew Coltart against Luna which set up a cliffhanger.
Daly beat Jiménez to vindicate his invitation, finishing with four wins out of four. O’Meara went down to Olazábal, leaving the match to be resolved by the middle of the three games - Woods v Luna.
It was left to Luna to conjure up a stunning up and down at the Road Hole and a missed putt of three feet by Woods at the last to allow the Spaniard (World No185) to beat the World’s No1.
South Africa, meanwhile, had a loud wake-up call on Friday when they lost unexpectedly to Germany. After that, they attended to the job in hand, beating Australia 2-1 in the semi-finals and ending the Spanish dream in the final.
Defeated captain Olazábal said: “We are all sad but we tried our best. We have done well and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t reach the final and maybe win next time.”