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July 10, 2021

Retief Goosen

Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Omaha Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to welcome Retief Goosen here to the interview room area. 4-under 66 today. You're currently solo second. Walk us through a little bit about your round and especially the big birdie there on 17 and 18.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I hit the ball probably the best today that I hit it all week. In the beginning of the week I hit it pretty awful, but as the week got on, I hit it better and better. Today, yeah, I got -- I missed two four-footers in the first couple of holes for birdies and then managed to get it going after that.

8 and 9 was nice birdies, both holes a driver and a 9-iron, and got it up quite close, and then yeah, the finish on the last couple of holes is big, and also on 16 after I hit a terrible 3-wood into the hazard there and managed to find it and get it on to the green and to make a par was big.

THE MODERATOR: How was the course playing today compared to yesterday?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yesterday it started playing firm. Today it was -- obviously it's extremely soft now. It's so difficult to control your spin. Where normally I would hit a sand wedge, I'm probably hitting a 9-iron to just take the spin off the ball to stop it from coming back off the front of the green. It's difficult to control the spin and the right distance with the greens being this spinny.

Q. You're a two-time U.S. Open champion. Does your familiarity in USGA championships kind of give you an edge out here, make you more comfortable with the course setup?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, as I say, my expectations were really low in the beginning of the week. I was hitting it so bad the last few weeks, and I was trying everything. I just decided to stick with something, and as the week got on, I started hitting it better and better. My confidence is coming back a little. The key to these last two rounds, I'm hitting more fairways, and you can do something from the fairway. But you start missing these fairways now with it being so wet and damp, you won't reach the greens.

Q. You said your putter woke up as the round went along. Any reason why it woke up?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. I hit good putts in the first couple of holes and horseshoed them both out and then made a nice putt -- actually the par-3, I hit it on to the slope there and it rolled down to about a foot. Lucky I could make that. But yeah, the putt on 8 sort of got things going. I made a nice putt and hit it close on 9. 10, I hit a perfect drive, got a really bad mud ball, it nearly went out of bounds and made a bogey there, but I hit a good putt for par again there that lipped out.

And then I three-putted No. 13, hit it on the green and three-putted, another lip-out. It could have been a really, really low round, but I'm going to take this and see what Jim does coming in and be out in the last group hopefully tomorrow and we're fun and games.

Q. We got a half inch of rain in that delay. How much did that change the course from earlier in the day?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Not really that much. I mean, it was really wet already to start. As I said, the difficult thing is to control the spin, stop the ball from not coming back to the front edge because these greens are so front to back. It's difficult.

Q. You've won the U.S. Open twice and there's a small list of folks who have won the U.S. Open and the Senior Open. Is that something that would be a goal of yours or something that you've ever even thought about?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I didn't know there was a small list, but it would be great to be on that list. Jim Furyk also has a chance to be on that list, so we're both playing tomorrow for a little bit of pride. He's a solid play, Jim, as you know. He doesn't miss many fairways, and that's key around a U.S. Open course.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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