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July 27, 2006

Retief Goosen


NICOLAI LAUDE: Retief, 8 under par 64. I think that's a pretty solid start to the tournament week.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I'm happy to get off to a good start. You never want to go and shoot level par out here today because you know you're going to be nine or ten shots off the lead.

I got off to a nice start on my back nine this morning, four birdies and an eagle. Then I had my chances for a much lower round really, but I think a bogey on 4 sort of stopped a really low round, and from there on I made three nice birdies coming in. I missed a short one on the last, but overall pretty happy.

Q. As you said, there's going to be a lot of low scores. Is the course playing that easy?

RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, I would say the first nine holes was playing as easy as it can be. There wasn't much wind out there, and then really from I would say No. 17 onwards, which was our seventh hole, the wind started blowing. So the back nine was a little bit more tricky. The greens were a little bit more bumpy with the traffic, and I'm sure this afternoon they're going to be a little bit more difficult to putt on.

Q. The weather forecast says that there will be a thunderstorm tomorrow. Is that something that makes you frightened because 20 years ago you had a very bad experience with that?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I'll be very happy if we get a thunderstorm, bring a bit of electricity in the air and wake me up (laughter). It would be nice if we got just a little bit of rain, not too much. I think the course should stay the way it is at the moment, nice and firm at places. If we get a rain, hopefully it's just a bit of a sprinkle.

Q. It's been, by your very high standards, a quiet period for you. I've noticed various reasons you've given for it. Can you give a more specific reason why it's been a little quiet for you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't really know. I haven't been putting as well. I think my putting has been probably the worst it's been for years, at least that's one of the reasons. Normally when I hit the ball bad, I've made it up with my putting, and this year I didn't hit the ball great and didn't make it up with my putting, as well.

I would say the last three, four months I've really been struggling with my putting. I've been working hard on it and made a few nice putts out there, a few better strokes, so hopefully we can start turning this year around a little bit from now until the end.

Q. What are the goals for the rest of the year? I noticed you're 11th in the Order of Merit. Is that something you think of, or are you looking more to the PGA Championship now?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I'd just like to play well again, play a bit more consistent, hopefully get a win in or a couple of wins in at least before the end of the year, so it would be nice to do that.

My schedule is fairly busy from now until the end of the year, so I'm playing quite a lot. I've got a week off next week and then back over to the States for three weeks playing and then back here for the BMW and so on the rest of the year, so it's a very busy schedule.

Q. Your thoughts on the Open? You were in contention but never quite got it going on the final round.

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, the third round really stopped me a little bit. I made a few bad mistakes from the fairways; twice I hit it in the bunkers from the fairway with a 9 iron, and you can't do that. It cost me bogeys. That put me away a little bit, a level par round and didn't make any putts, either. And then in the last round really nothing happened, as well.

So it was a bit disappointing that I didn't give myself a little bit more of a run towards the end. I started striking the ball a lot better, which is nice. I've been working quite hard on my swing the last month or so, and all the work is starting to pay off a little bit now.

NICOLAI LAUDE: I think that's all for the moment. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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