home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 4, 2006

Retief Goosen


CRAIG HEATLEY: It's a pleasure to welcome you. Ladies and gentlemen, in 2005, Retief won on the PGA TOUR, The European Tour and in Asia. He and Tiger are the only two players to win in each of the last five seasons on TOUR. He was the recent winner of the South African Open on The European Tour, he's finished in the Top 10 in five of his last six majors, including tied for third here last year, a total of 20 international wins, six PGA TOUR titles. He's currently ranked No. 3 in the world. This is his eighth Masters appearance, his best finish was second here in 2002.

Retief, would you like to make a comment or would you just prefer to take questions?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Take some questions.

Q. What is your take on the changes that they have made to the course, lengthening some of the holes?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, there's a few mixed feelings out there. But at the end of the day, everybody is playing the same course. I think the course is as good of shape as I've seen it in the last five years. That's nice. You know, the fairways are running a little bit. Some of the holes are actually playing shorter than it's played in the last five years, purely because you get some run in the fairways.

There's probably two holes the players feel are a little bit on the dicey side, 4 and 11. But overall, the course is in very good shape.

Q. What specifically did you have to work on at the start of the year? What have you been doing and where do you think you are now coming into this tournament with your game?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I took a lot of time off at the beginning of the year, six weeks and just didn't really do anything out on the golf course practicing wise. Took me a while to start getting back into the swing of things.

I feel like I'm hitting it quite well now and worked quite hard on my game in the last month. It's starting to pay off. Come Sunday again, I'll give myself a chance here at Augusta.

Q. Can you quantify how hard you've worked, how many hours do you spend on the range, Vijay?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, nothing like Vijay. I just hit a few more balls, practicing a lot more before and after rounds. Worked on my short game a little bit more. I hit the ball quite solid, played today and felt pretty good about it. Drove it quite nicely, which you need to do around this course now.

Q. It's generally said about you that you're a terrific putter when the greens are fast; do you recall that, is that when you putt your best?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I enjoy the greens here. I enjoyed them on TPC on Sunday when they are getting quick. This week, definitely, I enjoy the quicker they are, the better. Last week I struggled a little bit at the BellSouth because they were slow. But this week, it's definitely going to be good fun.

Q. And can this course play more difficult than Shinnecock did the last round of the Open?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, definitely. I think we're going to see a different course this year than we have in the last few years, being muddy and so on. This year, I think we're going to see some really firm and fast greens for a change here. So the course is going to play a lot different than it has in the last few years.

Q. Can you talk a bit about coming down the stretch in the South African Open and how important that was for you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it was nice, me and Ernie going down the stretch at the South African Open. It was a tough golf course, as well. The two of us sort of ran a little bit away with the event, but obviously on 17, I made a sort of miracle chip shot to go one ahead and stay that way. It was good fun. Me and Ernie, we played today again, so it was good fun that day.

Q. Just to follow up on your comment about the fast greens and your putting, why would you say that is? Why do you like it better, the faster the greens are, and why do you putt so well on fast greens?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. It just seems that my stroke just seems to be better on fast greens than slow greens, you know, because I like to keep the putter just moving smoothly and slowly. Slow greens, you need to hit it a lot.

It just seems like I can judge the pace a lot better on very quick greens.

Q. A firm, fast golf course here for a change, does that bring in more players that have a chance, the medium length hitters, do you think?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, definitely. There's a few holes now, well, like 7, but it's been playing downwind yesterday and today. The guys are still hitting the same clubs in that they hit last year, merely because the ball is running 30 yards down the hill. Who knows, they are probably going to go and throw a ton of water on the fairways to make it not run. But I think it would be nice to see the course dry for a change compared to the last few years.

Q. Top 10 finish in five of the last six majors, but how frustrating is that to you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: There's times that, you know, I've probably had a chance to win and messed up. Obviously U.S. Open last year.

The other ones I wasn't really close enough to the lead to really win. But, yeah, just keep working away and hopefully come one Sunday again, I'll make a few putts, hit the right shots at the right time and pull one off.

Q. Can you talk about your last eight rounds have been very solid, all under par, can you talk about after I think you shot 76 at Bay Hill, and since then, it's been pretty smooth, you've played really well since then.

RETIEF GOOSEN: That's right, I started really at Doral practicing a lot harder on my game, working a little bit on my swing. My timing seems to be a little bit out and it's getting better and better, especially last Sunday. I drove the ball nicely, hit my irons nicely. So that sort of gives you a bit of confidence going into this week. I just didn't putt well enough well, nobody really had a chance, but to give myself a chance to move up there.

But, yeah, it's good to feel that I'm starting to hit the ball a lot better.

Q. Nicklaus used to say when he would get to a U.S. Open and listen to different guys complain about the course and be able to rule them out, the chance for winning; do you think that could be the case this week?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Probably. At the end of the day, doesn't matter what they do to the course. Everybody plays the same course. It's just lengthening the way they have, they take more players out of play automatically. Some guys sort of mentally wise feel, yeah, they are out of it.

No, I feel confident, the course is in good shape. There's no bail out areas on the course anymore. You have to hit it on the middle of the green and go from there. None of the tricks that the course used to have.

Q. What's some of the chatter you're hearing either in the locker room or on the range or how you're playing? Are you hearing guys, oh, I can't believe this, how long this is, what do I hit on 4; what do you hear?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think 4 has been the biggest talking point. 7, not really because it's been playing downwind and it's not been that much of a difference from last year. I think 4 yesterday blew a gale, so everybody was hitting drivers and 3 woods. Today it was 5 woods and 2 irons, so it was a lot better.

11 probably they feel also, a little bit too long. 11 is still very wet, the fairway, so if you can get a good one down there, you could go in with a 6 iron or something like that.

Q. Have you heard anything amusing?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I just got here today so I haven't really had a chance of hearing some guys' comments. I think in general, everybody is very happy with the course. The course is in great shape.

CRAIG HEATLEY: Retief, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297