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May 6, 2006

Retief Goosen


LAURY LIVSEY: Retief Goosen is joining us, shot a 7 under 65. Comments about your round, especially your back nine.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Finishing off this morning, the last four holes I hit some really good shots and never really got rewarded for it, and it was a bit frustrating.

I started off on the 1st hole, hit a perfect second shot in there from about 70 yards, bounced back, expecting it to spin back and hits my partner's ball and stops right there. Then I missed the putt. So I was a bit warm after that.

And then hit a poor 7 iron on 2.

Then hit a poor drive on 3 in the left rough and managed to get a decent lie and hit it on the green and made it, about a 25 footer for birdie. Sort of got it going after that.

Still made a bad mistake on 7, hit a perfect drive and should have hit 4 iron for my second and hit 3 iron and it went about 20 yards over the green.

Then I made a nice birdie on 8, drove it just short of the green, chipped it up to three feet or so.

Hit a perfect drive on 9 and a poor second shot, missed the green right and couldn't get it up and down.

Then on the back nine, I drove it in the rough on 10 and chopped it out and hit a sand iron to about ten feet and made the putt.

11, good tee shot, poor 8 iron, missed the green short right and chipped it in. That's when things really started turning around. I felt like something started happening.

From there I hit a driver and a wedge on 12 to about six feet, made the putt.

25 footer for birdie on 13.

15, hit driver, 3 wood just short of the green, chipped it down to eight feet.

And the last few holes another couple of birdies.

Anything else?

No, 18 was a poor tee shot, I pulled it all the way into the hazard. I hit a good 5 iron from there into the right trap and had a good lie and felt I could get it up and down and actually nearly holed it for par. It was at least nice to finish with a 5 but would have liked to have had a chance to make a birdie and maybe shoot 28. I'm happy where I am, somewhere around the lead, and hopefully tomorrow we can get 18 holes in.

Q. Can you describe the course when you came off Thursday? Was today your revenge?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, today everybody was making some birdies out there. The fairways were a lot easier to hit and the greens were obviously holding. They're putting as good as they're rolling perfect. That's really just the rain that softened up the course that made the scoring easier today.

Q. I was going to ask you about the greens. Even though it did rain last night, were they still speedy at some spots because it still looked like they were fast.

RETIEF GOOSEN: The greens were still quick, it's just you can hold it now with your medium irons coming into the greens, and the short irons it stops and even spins back. So the greens are just perfect scoring today, really. There's not much wind out there, and the guys played well.

Q. As much work as you put into your game leading up to the Masters and then carrying on, have you been at all frustrated wondering when you're going to get some fruits from this labor?

RETIEF GOOSEN: That's true. I was moaning a bit out there today for the front nine. I hit a few good shots and never really got anything going. Like I said, on the back nine it suddenly all came at once.

But it's nice when you know you're hitting the ball pretty good. It gives you confidence going into tomorrow.

Q. When is the last time you thought you put at least two and a half or three good rounds together?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's been a while. There's been a bad round in between all the time. Hopefully this week I can get around that.

Q. If the weather is as bad as expected, do you have to take a different approach?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, we're just going to take it as it comes. There's nothing we can do about the weather. Hopefully it's not we won't be sitting in the clubhouse all day. I'm sure we'll get it done, hopefully tomorrow morning or sometime during the day.

Q. A lot of people have talked about this course as being much like a major, similar to a major setup or a U.S. Open setup. You obviously have had success at U.S. Opens. Are there any correlations there? Does this set well to your eye, this place?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I do like the course. It sets well for my eye. I like it. It's tough; you need to grind it out there. All day today the scoring was low. I think if it didn't rain yesterday, 6 under probably would have led today.

But I think the course is a great course. It's great preparation for the U.S. Open; I think quite similar, I think, to Winged Foot, so you can learn a lot out there today.

Q. Phil Mickelson said earlier today that this tournament is probably the favorite of the guys other than the majors, the tournament they want to win. I'm curious if that's a similar sentiment that you carry, and why.

RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, I wouldn't mind winning any week. Obviously winning this week is great. It's a tough golf course. It's not a golf course that it's going to be 22 , 25 under par is going to win, that's for sure. This is definitely one of the great tournaments on the PGA TOUR, definitely.

Q. What was the club you hit on that hole (indicating 17)?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I hit 6 iron today.

Q. Was that at all an example, or were the tees up?

RETIEF GOOSEN: The tees weren't up. It was about 218 yards.

Q. Is that an example of you saying the greens were holding better?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Definitely. I mean, today that green yesterday you couldn't stop it on, and today I landed it about eight yards short of the flag and stopped it pin high. If it didn't rain yesterday, I probably would have gone to the back of the green.

Q. I was going to ask you, would you like to see a could you see a U.S. Open being played here, or do you think the USGA would screw it up?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I think it's a great U.S. Open course. I don't think anything needs to be changed on the course. We just happen to have good weather so far. Despite the course being dry the first two rounds, it wasn't windy, and then it rained, so it's made the scoring go lower.

I feel that as the course is now, a U.S. Open can be played here if the conditions were firm, like I say, the scoring would have been probably 6 under, and then by tomorrow probably somewhere around 4 under could win the tournament.

Q. I was going to ask you, in terms of this course and how it plays when it's firm and the number of top players who are here and everything else about this tournament, how does it compare not so much to a major, but how does it compare to the Players Championship? Totally different courses, I realize, but just in terms of the

RETIEF GOOSEN: The feel, I mean, you get some great crowds out there. It definitely feels a bit like a U.S. Open or a TPC. You get that sort of field. It's great finishing holes, also. 17 and 18 are great finishing holes, so you get that feel that very much feels like a TPC or a major.

Q. Going out in threesomes and going out so early in the morning, do you think it's going to feel different in the morning than a final round in the final pairing?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, probably would have been nice going out two balls, but three balls is going to be a long day tomorrow. It takes about five hours, especially if it's going to be raining with umbrellas and whatever. It could be a long day out there tomorrow. The course is going to play much longer than it would play today, so yeah, it could be a long day out there tomorrow for all of us.

Q. Who is the last swing coach you had?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I worked with Sam Frost, and that's probably about eight years ago.

Q. Is Sam anybody we know, or is he down south?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Sam you may see in America teaching somewhere. I'm not sure where he is now.

Q. Why did you no longer work with him or why did you go on your own?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I felt like my mental side of the game needed more work to be done, and that's when I really moved to Jos and worked with Jos for about three years on the mental side.

Q. I guess my question is why did you no longer feel like you needed a set of eyes on the swing side?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm a bit more of a feel player, and I feel that there was times that I wouldn't see him for a couple weeks, and when I did see him it's when I just started feeling like I find my golf swing he wants to change something and then I'm all messed up again. I just find it difficult with somebody trying to work on my golf swing every week because eventually mentally wise you're thinking that there's constantly something wrong with your swing, so when are you ever going to think that you're swinging a club well if the coach is there every day working on it.

LAURY LIVSEY: Retief, thanks for your time.

End of FastScripts.

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