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August 7, 2005

Retief Goosen


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: First of all, congratulations, 2005 International champion.


JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: It was really a game of patience out there today, and obviously that's one of the things that you're very, very good at. Why don't you just talk about the day as a whole. You had eight points in the morning, seven points in the afternoon and just ground it out out there.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I got off to a very good start this morning starting on the 10th. I birdied two of the first three holes and then played pretty solid and then made very bad bogeys on 17, 18 and 1. That sort of really put my momentum down a bit. But I played okay after that.

Then started off well again this afternoon, but on the back nine I think everybody was starting to feel it and fall apart a little bit.

Q. Retief, I know there's a major coming up next week and that the last rounds of the last couple of majors have been tough on you. Does it help you confidence wise to put together such a strong Sunday? I know this isn't a major, but those were obviously pretty grueling conditions. Did that help you going into next week?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, obviously when you win a tournament you put four good rounds together, and I haven't been doing that this year. I would have three good rounds with a bad round in between. That really put me out of contention.

On a point system you always sort of take an approach that's a little bit more aggressive than you would in stroke play. You always go for a few more shots than what you would in a regular event.

I think I putted quite nicely this week, and that sort of is the key. I worked quite hard on my putting in the last two months to get that to where I was striking the ball well, so it saved me a few strokes this week.

Q. This tournament is kind of famous for the scoring system and it's produced some really kind of furious finishes, but with the 36 today, how different did it feel, and did it feel like it was more of kind of just a grind it out type of tournament there on that final nine?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, honestly after the first 18, I think 32 points was leading, and I said to Colin that we probably need to get it to 36, I think, to have a chance. We started off pretty well with a few birdies to get it going, but I think everybody just got tired coming towards the end. The course started to play totally different than what it did the first few days, and the greens are starting to get hard and crusty, and there was a little bit of a breeze out there this afternoon, so it's a lot trickier, the course, as well. I was very surprised that I won at 32.

Q. When you're tired, where do you notice how do you notice it or where does it manifest itself, in your legs? And what can't you do after that?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think it's our legs that really start to fade. My gosh, in the last sort of six holes I was starting to feel it a little bit. Your legs just sort of suddenly start feeling like jelly. I suppose it's like when you run a marathon, and you start doing a few sloppy things out there and couldn't get myself a good base on the swing.

But I made a couple of good swings coming in. Maybe the one on 18 wasn't that good. I was trying to hit it just left of the flag and pulled it a fraction. But I think I put it down to that everybody was starting to feel it and they just couldn't really get it going.

Q. Is this the tiredest you've ever felt after a golf tournament? Has it been worse than this for you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I would say it's the most tired since the U.S. Opens the last two years, and that was only 18 holes (laughter). I think mentally wise it was a lot more draining in the majors. Today obviously physically it was draining a lot more. Outside of majors, you get pretty

Q. You may have been tired and disgusted both after the majors, but do you remember the last time you played 36 in one day?

RETIEF GOOSEN: They asked me that question earlier. I'm not sure. Bell South. I played Bell South. That was 36 holes Monday before Augusta. We don't play 36 holes very often. But I think this one beats them all.

Q. Do you plan on doing anything a little bit different after playing 36 getting ready for Thursday at the PGA?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Not really. My plan was always to get there on Tuesday and play Tuesday afternoon. Tomorrow I have a day to relax and sort of try and find my legs on Tuesday morning, and then play Tuesday afternoon and then I'll probably play again on Wednesday morning. I think two rounds is pretty much as much as I can play around that golf course.

Q. How much time did you have between the first 18 and the second 18?

RETIEF GOOSEN: 20 minutes from when we finished signing our card to we had 18 minutes, so we went upstairs, grabbed a breast of chicken and a mango and went to the 1st tee. It was not really a break in between the 18.

Q. Did you lose any confidence in those two Opens or were you able to just somehow write that off as just bad rounds?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I don't say I lost confidence. I would say I was disappointed in the way I played. The U.S. Open, I don't know, really I can't say why every shot I hit ended up in the wrong place. Some days are just like that.

Q. On No. 8 in the afternoon, did you play on the par 5 there, did you always play your second shot trying to draw it in there, or is that something that you tried differently in the afternoon to be more aggressive?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No. 8, this morning I actually had a good drive and a 2 iron in, and today it was a 3 wood. Actually you've got to try and hit a bit of a fade around those trees. I hit a good shot there, probably hit it too well and it went over the back.

Q. Are you aware of the fact that your playing partner the final round of the U.S. Open this year, Jason Gore, also won today? Number one, he says he owes you $10 from that last round, and now he's won three in a row and he received a battlefield promotion; he'll be out here on the PGA TOUR now.

RETIEF GOOSEN: That's great. He's such a nice guy and a powerful player, as well. Obviously that bad round hasn't affected his game. It shows you he's got a good mental attitude, and that's what you need in this game. You need to forget about what's happened and carry on with what's ahead of you. I'm very much happy for him that he's doing that well.

Q. How much extra water or Gatorade did you all carry out there today, and did you see yourself drinking a lot more?

RETIEF GOOSEN: There's water pretty much on every hole, every tee. I don't know how many bottles I went through today. I had my fair share. I probably drank close to a bottle of water a hole.

Q. Have you been to Baltusrol for any preparation or do you know anything about the course?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I've just heard from Phil that he said the course is in very good shape and I'm looking forward to it. It sounds like a course that's set up pretty good, and we'll enjoy it. Hopefully the weather plays along and we'll have a nice week.

Q. Had you gotten frustrated at all that you hadn't won this year until that point?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, at some point I was sort of wondering where my golf was going. I actually started practicing a bit more than I used to. I've been working on my putting the last couple of weeks more than I normally do. I won't say I hit the ball extremely well today in places, but I hit the right shots at the right time that sort of kept me going.

JOAN v.T. ALEXANDER: Congratulations.


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