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September 16, 2005

Retief Goosen


GORDON SIMPSON: Well, Retief, seems you're making a habit winning by this margin and in for a nice easy afternoon. What were the key elements from your perspective?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, just played pretty solid, but Mark struggled and that's pretty much what happened last year with Jeff Maggert. He was over par and I was, whatever, 7 or 9 under or something. Pretty much got up pretty quickly on him but he pretty much struggled all the way. Especially on the back nine this morning he struggled, and that's really where I've got ahead.

GORDON SIMPSON: Good to conserve energy and see if you can finish it off?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, you always want to do that but it doesn't always work out like that. It's just lucky for me the last two days I've managed to get ahead very quickly and stay there win by a big margin which is pretty lucky.

Today it's tough. Conditions are tough out there, tricky, the breeze. He started hitting a few bad shots and then lost some confidence.

Q. Looked like you didn't have to do a whole lot yourself, your putts

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, like I say, I just sort of played pretty steady. I hit a couple of good shots early on, my score this morning was 6 under; it shows there.

You know, then this afternoon, I holed a good putt on the first hole to halve and I think that sort of really nailed it for me I think. Then he didn't make birdie on the par 5 down the hill. And then he missed the green on the next, and so that was pretty much over then.

Q. What will you do this afternoon?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I'm just going to go hit a couple of balls to sort of wind down and then get into the physio truck, get a bit of physio done and then go home, play with the kids, and that's great.

Q. Did it seem like experience comes into play here?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I think so. As I say, it's really tough getting back to the holes, especially the back nine into the wind. This wind is a tougher wind for this golf course. It was in the opposite direction yesterday out of the south. So the back nine plays really long and difficult.

But yeah, I think, you know, a lot of putts I made out there, like this afternoon on number, what is it, 6, I had that exact putt last year and I remember missing it left, and went a bit more this year and made it. So, yeah, it does definitely help, experience around this course.

Q. You said the other day that you've always had trouble reading the putts.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I seem to see the lines a lot better obviously these last few days, especially the last few weeks. Hopefully I'll keep it up tomorrow. You're going to need to. It's only going to get tougher tomorrow on. I've got lucky so far; I've had two guys that didn't play so well.

Q. Were you aware that Mark was about to concede your putt on the 18th?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I saw him looking around. Maybe he was thinking about giving it to me. You know, it was a good yard putt, so there's no reason why he shouldn't have given to me. But I've been making pretty much everything and I pulled it, yeah, so, that was the first really bad stroke I made.

Q. Was he smiling as if resigned to his fate?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Mark always smiles. He's always laughing. He's a really funny guy. He doesn't get down at all with this game. You know, he's really a pleasant person to be around.

Q. Inaudible?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, he didn't well, actually, when we were on the second hole this afternoon, I chipped it down there to about three feet. And I walked up and I thought he said "good chip." I marked the ball, he was dropping at the back of the green and chipped it down to about two yards and made the putt.

And then I just proceeded marking, looking at my line, concentrating and he actually gave it to me. He said, "That's good." I thought he said that was a good chip. So, funny, after I made it, he said, no, I gave it to you. (Laughter.)

Q. Why was he in the drop zone?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, the ball was plugged and he kept dropping right just in front of where the ball was. So, you know, eventually they were laughing at him, why don't you aim it like it a foot behind where you're trying to drop it because he kept dropping it in front of his mark. Then finally he got some sense into him that he should drop behind his mark, and then had problems keeping the ball on the bank.

Q. Were you thinking of the record margin?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, yeah, I suppose going down there I was sort of thinking I could possibly make it, but you're just grinding out, you know how quickly it can turn around in this game; he did it yesterday against Colin. You know, sort of holed a good putt on the first, it sort of stopped him from winning 2 up in a row.

Q. How far ahead do you have to be before you know it's over?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I think, you know, when you say nine ahead with 13 holes to play, it's pretty much all over then.

GORDON SIMPSON: Retief, see if you can get the record tomorrow then. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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