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February 28, 2007

Retief Goosen


CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: We have Retief Goosen with us here this morning. Retief, welcome back to the Johnnie Walker Classic. You won this event in 2002 and I'm sure it must be good coming back to an event which you have won before.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, definitely. Johnnie Walker is obviously an event I really like. Although last year was a bit of a disaster in Perth for me, the Johnnie Walker. But I've done well the year before and it's not too long ago I played the Tiger Skins here in Phuket, so good memories of the course. I know the course pretty well.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Obviously you won in Qatar and top five in Abu Dhabi; you must be happy with how your year is shaping up for 2007?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, definitely. I'm playing well. I'm starting to hit the ball quite nicely; hopefully this week I will.
You know, I played well last week. The first round I played well; the second round I played well, but I just got beaten by a guy that played better. That happens in match play.
But overall, I feel like my swing is sort of coming together and hopefully we can do something this week.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Like you said you won the Tiger skins in Phuket and finished third in the Johnnie Walker in 1998 what is it about Blue Canyon that you enjoy playing here?
RETIEF GOOSEN: It's a good course. You need to strike the ball well. I've played the front nine yesterday, and you know, the rough is really thick this year. The course is playing quite long. There's no run-out on the fairways at the moment.
So, you've got to play well this week. Driving, especially. You miss the fairways here with the way the rough is this year, it's going to be tricky.

Q. What keeps you fresh, playing week after week and enjoying success playing a global schedule?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I've been around for a while now but I'm still young. I don't know, you've got to work your schedule out carefully how you travel. You know, coming all the way from America to over here, it's not easy, but, you know, being the Match Play, what it was last week, I unfortunately fell out on Thursday. So I had four days to sort of get myself -- I only arrived yesterday morning.
Yeah, I've been playing quite consistent for quite a number of years now, and I try and stay fit. I try and get to the gym regularly. But I think most of all, you've got to work your schedule out carefully traveling-wise and, you know, look after yourself, eat healthy and don't drink too much wine.

Q. Is that fitness regime thing something which you have taken up after Tiger?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I've been on the Tour since, whenever, '93 or '92, I can't remember. My first few years, I didn't play a lot. Obviously you want to play a lot and do well. But I think my schedule has sort of been the way it is now long before even Tiger came on the Tour. I've always been somebody that worked out a bit in the gym and all that kind of stuff, so I don't think it's something that I picked up from him.

Q. Why do you keep coming back to Asia, and what do you see having changed over the years?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I feel that the Asian Tour and the Middle and Far East is definitely become -- is becoming a future golf tour in itself. I feel that the way the economy is going over here, and especially in China and those places, I think we're going to see more and more events pop up in this part of the world.
I like playing over here. I enjoy the people. I enjoy the golf courses. So it's always an area that I enjoy coming to, and I feel that it won't be long; we're going to play quite a few more events in this part of the world.

Q. Looking at the strengths of the field these days, is it time for a world tour to come closer together?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I think so. You know, the events over here, it's getting stronger and stronger fields. So World Ranking-wise, it definitely appeals to a lot more of the top players to come and play and there's a lot of prize money. You see how big of prize money they have in China; at the HSBC tournament there, there's big prize money.
So I feel that the guys will definitely come and play moreover here now. Good weather, the courses are good. Obviously we can't play in Europe this time of year but a lot of the players sort of enjoy coming and playing out here more now than maybe playing in the States.

Q. You mentioned a separate tour for the Far East, is it a reality to see that happening?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, you have the Japan Tour and the Asian Tour over here. I don't think there's going to be talks of making another tour out here. I feel that these two tours over here are blending sort of quite well into The European Tour now. So I don't think that we will try to make a different tour out here now. I just feel that it will become a stronger tour.

Q. Do you ever prefer coming here than to the US?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Do I prefer coming here?

Q. As opposed to playing in America.
RETIEF GOOSEN: I obviously enjoy going to the States. I'll be going back there next week after this event, playing Bay Hill and Doral and the Masters.
I don't know, it just seems to work out well with my schedule the events that I play over here. Johnnie Walker was at a good date this year. Obviously I would have liked to have come over here really tired winning on Sunday last week. I won't say that I don't enjoy going to the States, but I enjoy going all over the world. That's the way I've played for a number of years now, and Ernie as well.
So I feel me and Ernie are sort of on the same track in the way that we enjoy supporting the tours all the way around the world. We play in so many different continents and we just don't want to base ourselves full-time in America.
I think it's good to play a variety of golf courses and places and see a variety of different people. The golf courses we're playing in this part of the world now is really top-class golf courses. It's not just in America that you're going to get those great golf courses.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thank you for joining us and all the best this week.

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