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November 4, 2005

Retief Goosen


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, co leader with Bart Bryant after 36 holes, four birdies and one bogey today. If you could talk about your round today and we'll go right into questions.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it was an up and down round, really. I missed a lot of fairways out there again today, but I chipped and putted really well today, saved a lot of shots out there.

Q. You've played very well here, ten rounds, 24 under at this golf course. Missing fairways, does that not bother you here? Is that the way you feel you can still attack this course, playing that way?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Not really. I mean, a couple of times I was in the rough today that I couldn't get on the greens. No. 1, 5, 7. You know, so those are holes that I recovered really well, got it up and down for pars except the 1st hole I didn't get it up and down.

So I saved a lot of shots out there. It could have been a round that was level par if I didn't get those up and down.

The back nine I was on the fairways a little bit more, gave myself a few more chances to get to the greens. I hit a lot of irons off the tee on the back nine just to sort of find the golf course. The greens at the moment are still soft enough that you can hit a 7 iron into the green instead of a wedge if you drive it, to stop it.

Q. Even though it's only Friday, is there any part of you that would have been a little bit surprised to have been level with Bart?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, he had a great start. I mean, the first few holes, the first seven holes he played like he should have been 6 under, comfortably. And then he made bogey on 8, hit it in the bunker there, and a couple more bogeys on the back nine. So that sort of stopped him a little bit. Overall he hung in there, kept fighting, made a great eagle to get back into it.

He's very solid off the tee. He only missed probably four or five fairways out there today, so he's got a lot of birdie putts out there when he's on the course.

Q. If I told you before the round today that you were going to hit three fairways, would you have thought you would have been 4 under and tied for the lead going into the weekend?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I hit three fairways but I hit it on the fringe on three holes, as well, in the semi rough, so the semis are pretty much like the fairway. I scrambled well. 4 under is as good as I could have played today.

Q. Sort of two different philosophies out there, I guess, with the way Bart is forced to play because of his physical limitations, hitting it out there about 270, and then the next two guys behind him on the leaderboard are you and Tiger. Tiger hit a couple today that were 370 something, could you sort of comment on the way the game has become sort of a division between power and I suppose finesse, for the mere mortals?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, this golf course is not playing that long this week because of the run in the fairways, so even for Bart it's not playing that long. And as straight as he hits it, he's always got a medium to short iron into the greens.

Hitting a 370 in the rough, you've got less chance getting it close with sand iron out of the rough than you do with a 7 iron into the green.

Q. Shortly after the round you talked about how you had some trouble getting comfortable over the ball, and yesterday we spoke about the psychological edge that you take coming into the tournament. Can you talk about some things that you work on trying to get comfortable going into the last two rounds?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I'm working on something. I'm not sure I'm comfortable. You know, it's a question of just trusting your golf swing, and at the moment I'm not trusting my swing. I'm steering it a little bit out there, and that's why I'm not hitting it that way. That's why I'm not letting go and just letting it happen. I'm hanging on, letting go of it too quickly, so it's a bit of inconsistency out there for me at the moment.

Q. You have six wins in the States and two of them have been in this town. Any theories, serious or comical, one or the other?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I've got one just up the road here, the Bell South. I like these type of greens, these quick greens, lots of break in them. I like that kind of greens to putt on. Bell South I always putted well at, and I putted well on these greens. That's probably the key.

Q. Do you have a history on these greens, growing up or anywhere in your travels?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, when I grew the greens were pretty much like Bermuda type grass and later they changed to bent grass. But Johannesburg all the greens were like these greens.

Q. Are you surprised that 20 odd years of this tournament that no one has ever won back to back?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I'm a little bit surprised. Hopefully I'm going to have a chance on Sunday to do that. I need to play well today to stay in contention going into Sunday. Yeah, I'm a little bit surprised. It's not a tournament that you can always guarantee coming back to defend, as well. You play well one year and the next year you don't get back here, so that's probably happened in the past, as well.

End of FastScripts.

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