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January 17, 2007

Retief Goosen


GORDON SIMPSON: Retief, welcome to the glorious sunshine of Abu Dhabi, not what any of us expected, but nevertheless, it's the start of another year. Presumably you're looking forward to getting going again.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, it's been a good holiday. Been in South Africa for about 2 1/2 months. So this is the coldest I've been in the last 2 1/2 months, and I've come to the desert.
Yeah, not quite what you expect, but I remember in the past we played in Dubai, early mornings it can be cold. But yeah, this is about the warmest thing I've got here this week.
GORDON SIMPSON: Did you manage to recharge the batteries? I know you played right up to Christmas virtually, but I take it you've had a break since then.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, the Open was the last event so it was four weeks' or so break. It was a busy holiday season. Entertaining isn't relaxing, but I had a lot of friends, a lot of family around. It was a good time. I didn't play any golf during the holiday except last week I played two rounds of golf and hit a few balls.
So the swing is a little bit on the raw side but looking forward to the week, played the course yesterday and it's in great shape.
GORDON SIMPSON: That's your first sighting of the course isn't, isn't it.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, very nice golf course. I like it. It's good, it's very good course.

Q. Where did you spend your time in South Africa?
GOOSEN: I was down in George and spent some time up north near Warmbaths. It I have a house and game reserve and spent some time there.

Q. Did you play much golf during the break?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I played a couple of rounds with my dad and my brothers and the other round was just with some friends practising t Zebula Golf and Country Club. I won't say serious practising; I was sort of on the range for three days hitting balls for a couple of hours.
GORDON SIMPSON: As somebody who plays globally, have you had to do some reshuffling with the schedule in view of America finishing in September?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I will play the same sort of schedule up to the British Open. The end of the year is still a bit of a question mark, we're not quite sure what's going to happen there yet. We are trying to see what we can do towards the end of the year.
But I'm playing this week and next week, and then I'm taking a couple of weeks off, and then I'm playing the Nissan and the Match Play and then back over for Thailand. I was going to go to Malaysia and Indonesia, but it's just too much traveling early on in the year.

Q. Big swing changes or just tinkering.)
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, not really. I go at every week just trying to play well and win and do my best. I'm not going to sort of try anything different this year, besides that I'm obviously working with Gregory James on the swing a little bit more this year.
So the swing changes, it's not easy. And it's not easy to get -- especially now that I've had a month off and try and do it, it's not that easy. But you never know, I might start hitting well this week and that can give you a lot of confidence the rest of the year on what you're working on.

Q. What specifically are you working on in the swing?
RETIEF GOOSEN: It's minor thing, nothing serious. Hit the ball straighter. (Laughing)
Q. Are the majors the focus this year?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, a majors are high on the list, try to work my schedule properly to try to prepare for those events.
This year, I normally try and play the weeks before the majors but I think this year, I'm not going to. This year I'm going to try and prepare different for them a little bit by playing a few practise rounds maybe at the event or doing a little bit more practising the week before instead of playing.
So this year definitely looks like The Masters and the U.S. Open, and I'm having weeks off before the event.

Q. Disappointed not having a win last year?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, obviously it was disappointing last year, the HSBC, not having finished second or at least win it, that would have really given you a good start to the year.
Yeah, got a long way to go still and at least we are up there on the list at the start of this year. So I hope we can build on that.

Q. About swing change since winning the U.S. Open.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, there was a few bad habits that started creeping into my swing so maybe when I won those U.S. Opens, it wasn't there. I'm trying to change a few things now and it's been better, definitely been better. It's just a question of taking them out on the course and trusting it under pressure, that's the main thing.

Q. Problems with swing?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Not really. We all know what the bad moves are in the golf swing and I'm just trying to improve those and get rid of those. I know what my faults was in my golf swing and it's mainly a setup issue for me and we're just trying to change that to really make the swing two in a better plane.

Q. What would one be for you?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Probably shut most of the time.
GORDON SIMPSON: Thanks very much for coming in, Retief.

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