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


August 8, 2006

Retief Goosen


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, thanks for joining us here defending your championship here at The INTERNATIONAL. I'm sure you have some good vibes coming back to the Denver area, a nice day and maybe just talk about your week coming up.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it's always nice come back to a place where you've won before and done well before, so I like the course. I'm very comfortable with the course.

I feel like my game, I've worked very hard on my game before the British Open and through the British Open, and felt like I was starting to hit the ball a lot better, just not quite making the putts I need to. You know, this week we'll be putting on perfect greens. So hopefully I can make a few putts this week.

Q. As you analyze your own game over the years, do you feel as a ball striker you've been at the level of the rest of your game, or is there anything in your golf swing that you've worked on that has lingered in a sense? I don't mean to be negative.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I would say probably the best ball striking years I've had is sort of 2002, 2003. Those two years, I know I hit the ball extremely well. I would say the last couple of years haven't been as great as they can be. But like I said, I've worked pretty hard on my game in the last sort of three months, four months, and made a couple of small changes here and there and just feel like, you know, coming in, really only made major change before a couple of weeks before the British Open, coming into the British Open, and I played well at the Deutsche Bank in Germany. I just didn't make any putts. I feel like the ball striking is getting better. I just feel like I have to get the short blade going a little bit now.

Q. Is there any particular theme or move that you worked on over your career?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, not really. For me it's more of a setup thing, a bit of bad habits tends to creep in with your setup and if your setup is not correct the rest of your swing is struggling to be correct. I'm very much a feel player so I'm not very technical at all what happens through the club. I just feel my way through the swing.

Q. You work with Sam Frost every once in awhile, sporadically?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No. The last time I worked with Sam was about eight years ago.

Q. I heard he just opened up a place in Phoenix. I thought you had spent some time.

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, we exchange e mails every now and then as friends, but no, we don't really work together anymore, no.

Q. I know you were not happy with the way you were hitting it even through Wachovia, but the work you've been since then is on your own?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I've been on my own for last eight years. Obviously I've worked on the mental side of the game with Jos and so on but, swing wise, I've been on my own the last eight years.

Q. This tournament has never had a back to back winner. Why do you think that is, the course, the unique format, you obviously have a chance to do that, but why has this tournament produced multiple champions but not consecutive champions?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Normally the guy that wins here this week has putted very well. Like I said, the greens are as good as you can get them. So if your putter gets hot, you can make a lot of putts. Probably coming back the next year, you're not making as many as you made the year before.

It's a different format. It's all about making birdies this week, you know, and getting those points on the board. You can shoot 69 and the other guy can shoot 71. But he'll probably have more points than you than because he's made more birdies or eagles and things like that. You make bogeys, you lose less points for making bogeys than what you gain for making birdies. That's probably why it hasn't been back to back. It could be the format.

Q. You mentioned that you like this course. Could you elaborate, what are a couple of the specifics that you really like about this course?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, it's similar altitude to what I grew up in, high altitude. So, you know, everybody here coming here this week, we all feel like animals hitting the ball 330 yards comfortably. It's amazing how far the ball can go over here.

It probably reminds me of some places in South Africa, the courses I played, not quite as hilly as this. But it's a course we need to be quite fit to get around. You know, you get drained out here pretty quickly with the altitude and the hills here to walk. So fit players generally here this week I feel do pretty well.

Q. Can you talk about the altitude and changes to your game, specifically maybe your short iron play and what that does to a golfer's game when you're talking about maybe a possible two club difference for a club and a half difference?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it is quite a change to what we're used to. I think this is probably the hilliest course we play on Tour and the altitude as well, so sometimes it's difficult to trust yourself. Like No. 11, you've got 209 yards or something and you're hitting a 9 iron.

So it's hard to judge sometimes how far the ball is going to go. It's good to get a couple of practice rounds in and get the feel of how far the ball goes. We generally just take ten percent off the yardage and go from there.

Q. Have you ever hit a shot here where you thought, wow, that just flat out surprised you; that you didn't ever think you would hit it that far or that place?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Last year the first hole I think, the second shot, I think I had probably somewhere around 250 yards and you're hitting 4 iron. It's hard to believe sometimes the ball is going to go that far and get there. You always feel like you have to work extra hard, but you've just got to trust it that it's going to go that far.

Q. Your thoughts about the FedEx Cup next year, how are you looking forward to it and what do you see it, as a step forward for the Tour?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, we hope so. We hope that it's going to make it a little bit more exciting especially at the end of the season. Yeah, the points system is going to be something new. I don't think anybody knows what to expect or how it's going to turn out. At the end of the day you've just got to go out there and play golf and make the putts and make a score.

It has bunched up things a little bit. It's messed up a few events on The European Tour that we normally play that now you might decide not to play and play over here. It is difficult but it opens up the rest of the world a little bit after the Tour finishes over here. It gives us an extra month to go play tournaments in the Far East, Australia and South Africa and really support the Tours around the world somewhere else, so in a way that's a good thing.

I think everybody is excited about a bit of a different format and seeing how it's going to work out.

Q. Can you talk about the last major of the year coming up next week, have you played Medinah recently and just your basic thoughts going into the last major of the season?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Medinah is a good course to go and have a last major on. It's going to be tough. The last time I played here was when Tiger won. I remember the greens wasn't in that good of shape that year but I understand the course is great now. So looking forward to it. Although I didn't do well, I like the course. It's a great golf course.

Q. What concerns, if any, do you have transitioning from this high altitude and hilly game to back to sea level in a week, how is that going to affect your game?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't think it's going to affect. It's going to be back to normal I suppose. This week is a tricky week, even on a 60 yard pitch shot the ball goes further. This week is a tough week to judge and get the right distance out of your irons.

Q. When you first came here it play this format and things, did you have to make some adjustments as far as your mindset of play differently here than elsewhere, and did you put any different clubs in your bag?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I haven't changed any clubs. I'm sure this week a few of the guys will probably try to put extra wedges in the bag because you'll be hitting a lot of extra wedges into some of these holes. The adjustment is really the altitude, judging how far the ball is going to go. But I like it. I like the altitude golf, even a little breeze, the ball still goes a mile into the breeze, so that's fun.

I feel this week, players generally play a little bit more aggressive than they would in a regular stroke play event. You can still make double bogey, but you can't make worse than double bogey and you only lose a certain amount of points. It's not that it really goes off your score card.

So I feel the guys are a little bit more aggressive this week than they would be in any other event, almost a little bit like match play in a way.

Q. Can you tell us about your feeling of the state of your game now as compared to a year ago coming into this tournament?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I would say quite similar. I probably feel a little bit more confident coming in this year than last year. Like I said, I worked pretty hard on my game and things are starting to turn, so hopefully still hitting a few better shots this week and make a few putts. Obviously last year I knew I was putting well but this year, I have not been putting as well. It's just a matter of time that it's going to start turning.

Q. Medinah, I know you haven't seen the new length, but what do you remember as the distinctive properties of that course, shapes, pulls?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Last time the issue, it was really long. And now it's even longer. And I've got older since then, too, so that means I've got shorter.

It's very wet but who knows what the weather is going to be like this year. From what I understand, the changes are good, so you know, if they are lengthened 20 yards, you're hitting 6 iron instead of 8 iron or 4 iron instead of 6 iron. Last time the rough was like this, so just keeping it on the fairways.

Q. Did it test you off the tee at all, having to worry about run out, anything like that, particularly difficult driving course last time?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It wasn't an unusually dog leg course, especially some of the holes, it's just hit it straight now. I feel it's going to be like the U.S. Open this year. You're going to have to hit the fairways to have a chance.

Q. Do you think Tiger's style at the British Open, not using any drivers, may have an influence on players, maybe backing off to hit 7 iron or something?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Tiger had a game plan at Hoylake and it worked for him. He played well and won the event. You know, who knows, you could have had the same game plan and not played as well and not won and then everybody would say, yeah, he should have hit driver. People will still say he should have hit driver.

Medinah, you're definitely going to have to hit driver, so we'll see how it goes there. Obviously he's the guy to beat, like we know every week. He's really on top of his game at the moment.

Q. Are there certain holes here, 17 would be the obvious choice where you can say, I can get a lot of points here. But are there certain holes where you say, you know, just getting away with a par or just is it pretty much everything goes, go for birdie, go for eagle?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, obviously this week you feel the par 5s are the holes that you want to try and make your points. They are all reachable. Probably would say probably the longest won is funny enough, although 1 is the longest hole but the one that plays the longest is 14, I think it is.

You know, 1 last year was a driver and 5 iron or 4 iron and the other one you've got to hit 2 iron or 3 wood in.

I mean, they are all great holes. There's a few holes out there you've got to be careful, the third, you know, is very tricky with the river running through the fairway there. That's a hole that you generally are not too upset with a par.

The par 3, 4th, is a really tough par 3 now with the new tee at the back. That's a much longer hole, not quite a push over like it used to be.

9 could be dangerous. 9 and 18, obviously out of bounds left and 9 with the hazard down the left. Those are the holes you've sort of got to be careful.

10 I would probably say is the toughest hole on the course I think. Generally if you miss the fairway there, you don't have much chance of getting on to the green.

Q. What's the longest or shortest club you've had in any of the par 5s and what is the shortest club you've seen any of your opponents have into a par 5 here?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Probably 17, you know, I've hit 3 wood, 7 iron in there before. So you know, an exciting hole that has a lot of turnaround on the tournament, that hole. You feel like you should make birdie and if you don't, you feel like you've lost so many points to the field.

I know Hank Kuehne on the first hole, he drove a 9 iron before. So it shows you how far the ball can go. He hit a drive I think it was close to 450 yards.

Q. You only had 250 last year.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, well, he hits 9 iron as far as I hit my 7.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief, thanks.

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