home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


November 7, 2004

Retief Goosen


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, congratulations on winning the 2004 TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. This is your third worldwide win of 2004 and your fifth PGA TOUR win of your career. If we could maybe start with some opening comments, just one off the course record today with a 64. Came from inside the pack and had a great day. Congratulations.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, thank you. I didn't quite think I was going to win by four, but it was -- I got off to a good start, 2-under through three holes, and I probably thought that I had to shoot 11-under or 12-under to have a chance at winning today, and then walking up No. 7, I saw that Tiger and Jay was down to 7-under, so then I knew that probably 9-under could win this tournament.

Obviously nobody is going to run away with it.

I played the front nine pretty well the whole week and then struggled on the back nine, but today I drove the ball quite nicely. I hit a lot of fairways, and on the back nine I kept it in play.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Talk about No. 16. You made birdie there on the hardest hole all week, and that kind of put the dagger in everybody else's heart. Just talk about that birdie on 16.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I nearly hit a good drive. I was trying to knock it down a bit into the wind and just blocked it slightly. I knew it was in the rough, but I got down there and I had a sort of reasonable lie and I had 198 yards or something like that left. So I thought, well, a 5-iron is the club. I was just trying to hit it sort of three yards left of the flag, and it came out dead on it. I pushed it slightly (laughter). But when it landed, I thought, well, it could possibly be a chance it could go over the back. It's just one of those shots that came off at the right time and possibly it won the tournament for me.

Q. You're probably aware of Tiger's record as a closer out here, at least somewhat. Are you surprised as a player when you look up there and see him coming back to the pack like that because it doesn't happen very often? Obviously 64 is pretty darn strong, but he let some guys into the match, so to speak.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Like I say, I was very surprised at Jay and Tiger were a couple over fairly soon, and then Jerry Kelly came charging in. But I just kept on playing solid. I missed quite a few putts out there, 11, missed quite a short putt, and 10 wasn't a difficult putt straight up the hill and I left it short.

I had my chances out there to make a few more birdies, but I got my breaks, I suppose, on 15 and 16 that probably put me ahead and maybe sort of put a mental block on the other guys that it's over.

Q. Kind of like what he was saying, when you start the day back 4 back from a guy who's only lost three times out of 32 tries, how difficult is that?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Early on conditions were good and Vijay was 6-under, so I knew there was a chance for some birdies out there. Yesterday I said I'm probably going to need to shoot 7 or 8-under to win it, so it was my mindset to pretty much go at it today. I started out with a good drive at the 1st and a soft 8-iron, and a drive and a wedge on the 3rd. So you sort of get on a roll.

I had chances which I didn't make. I suppose the shot on No. 9 was a tough bunker shot, and I got it close and made a good birdie there.

From then just on the back nine I knew it was going to be tough, just needed to hang in there and see what happened, if the other guys came charging or not, and it just didn't happen.

Q. Actually if you look at the score card, you birdied that three out of four stretch of the back nine, it was the same place yesterday where you kind of ruined your round, you made three bogeys in those four holes. You would have been, I suppose, conceivably playing in the final group, so a pretty good turnaround on holes that had been giving you trouble.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think the first three holes I was 10-under for the front nine and 10 over for the back nine. Today I just set myself up differently on the tee boxes. I teed it up on different sides of the tee than I did in the first three rounds to just sort of maybe change my mental approach on the shot and try and hit a different shape off the tee than I hit in the first couple of rounds, and I had a few better tee shots coming down the stretch.

Q. You're not surprised that Tiger backpedaled then?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think everybody is surprised. I mean, we all thought he was going to be the guy to beat. He put two good rounds together, second and third rounds. In a way I felt that Jay could be a big contender because as straight as he hit it, you don't need to hit it really long off the tee, but like I say, when I saw they were a few over, I knew I was in for a chance.

Q. You said earlier it was an up-and-down year, but yet you win the U.S. Open, the European Open and then close out with the TOUR Championship, so a pretty remarkable up-and-down year.

RETIEF GOOSEN: It was a good year. Injury-wise the year was so good, and the injury when I had to sit out for about five or six weeks, and then it was sort of a bit of a hassle the last few tournaments to get going again.

In a way I wasn't as keen for the rest of the year as I was early on in the year, but last week in Tampa I was playing okay but not really good enough, I think, to win. This week I liked the course, the way it was set up, and the greens are good, and I knew if I got my putter going I could score.

I hit the ball pretty bad the first round and then just gradually got better as the week went on.

Q. Did you get louder applause here on 18 or at Shinnecock?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, the crowds are good out there. There was a couple of guys that made a few funny comments, again, but those sort of things don't bother me anymore. It makes me a little bit more determined than anything else. The crowd is good out there, they applaud shots, and when you miss one they also boo you. It was pretty good out there.

Q. You've won twice in Atlanta as I recall?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, Bell South.

Q. Is there something about this area that fits you or you like?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. I like the greens, I like the really fast greens. I've always liked the greens very quick than slow. I don't know what it is with the courses, but I should come and play a few more events here in the Atlanta area because I like it. I think it's just maybe the way the greens are and the sources are set up. These two specific courses I like.

Q. You've done pretty good at Augusta once or twice, too?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, Augusta is obviously different, but I've had my chances there, too.

Q. You pulled out of the Bell South on a Sunday after two holes and then came back and won it the next year? Was that it?

RETIEF GOOSEN: That's right. I picked up -- I pulled a muscle in my chest on the driving range on a Sunday morning hitting balls because it was really cold, and after about three holes I couldn't hit the ball, so I pulled out.

Q. Speaking of injuries, I know you've sort of gone over the jet ski thing. Did you hurt your hip hitting water or did you fall into the jet ski itself?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. I think it was -- I think I sort of hit the jet ski on the way off, but I was sort of rolling on the right side. I was sort of rolling a little bit on the water, as well, and I think that sort of did something, maybe pulled my leg behind my ear or something (laughter).

Q. Where was that at?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It was in Barbados at Sandy Lane.

Q. Popular place.

RETIEF GOOSEN: When I played with Tiger yesterday I said you didn't have any jet ski accidents out there, did you?

Q. His boat is a little bigger than a jet ski.

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's fun. It's a great place.

Q. Do you get kidding from the players that you don't say a whole lot or kidding around or anything like that? Tiger said he played a match with you at the Presidents Cup and not a whole lot of talking.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, Presidents Cup you're not supposed to talk to your partner anyway (laughter). I'm supposed to intimidate him.

You know, in a round like this when you're in contention it's difficult to just let go, for me anyway, to let my mind drift off and stay away from focusing on every shot, even when I'm walking to the ball.

Other guys like Fred Funk and Lee Trevino, they find it relaxing to talk the whole time and sort of get rid of the pressure that way, but I have other ways of keeping myself calm.

Q. You've been described as one of the funniest guys at the dinner table. How long does it take you to get out of this tournament mode and get into the relaxed mode, I guess, or how much drink do you need?

RETIEF GOOSEN: A couple of bottles tonight (laughter). I'm not sure if Ernie is going down to Orlando tonight. I think it was last Sunday night he was doing hand brake turns out in my driveway at 2:00 o'clock in the morning.

Q. I guess we know how he hurt his finger.

RETIEF GOOSEN: He was trying to wake me up to come and drink with him, but he couldn't do it.

Q. It's supposed to be nice and quiet out there. You guys are blowing the image.

RETIEF GOOSEN: He woke the neighbors up.

Q. Ernie and Phil and Vijay and Tiger get a lot of publicity as the big four out there. Do you feel like right behind them you're sort of under-appreciated by everybody?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. Tiger and Vijay and Ernie, they're probably in a different league with the amount of tournaments they've won and things like that. I think I have to win a few more probably to sort of get into that stature, I think. They've been on TOUR here a little bit longer than me and people know them a little bit better, so I think a couple more years of good play, it might be a different story.

Q. Do you think your personality sort of keeps you out of the limelight a little bit with fans and things like that, that you're not gregarious or outgoing?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I don't know. Some players get fired up. Obviously Tiger has his way of getting fired up and showing it. Other players don't. I enjoy every moment of it when I'm out there playing. I might not show it, but I'm -- it's difficult, like I've said, to let go and do other things and not stay focused.

Q. What exactly were the comments out there that motivated you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, when you miss a putt, they say, "well, Tiger is going to win," or "here comes Tiger." Little things like that, but, you know, I understand guys have been out there drinking all day, so it's just their way of showing their emotions.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We've touched on several of your holes, but if we could go through the rest of your card and we'll take one or two final questions.

No. 1, you made birdie.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I hit driver, 8-iron.

Driver, wedge on the 3rd.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: You hit that bunker shot to a couple feet on 9.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I hit driver, 3-iron in that right trap and hit it out to a couple of feet.

13, driver, 8-iron, hit it up there 25 feet.

15, par 5, driver and 9-iron out, hit a sand wedge from about 90-something yards to probably ten feet.

16, I hit a driver, 5-iron.

Q. Can you talk about the lie you had on 16?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, it wasn't a terrible lie. It wasn't right down in the rough. It was definitely a lie where I knew I could get to the green. In fact, I probably thought it might jump slightly on me, but it just came out perfect.

Q. Address this travel situation. American players seem reluctant to play much overseas, but you and Ernie and Vijay are playing everywhere. Talk about that a little bit. Is it difficult for you after playing so long you're acclimated now to playing all over the world throughout the year?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's not really that difficult a flight for me to Europe, seven hours in your day, even less from Atlanta. I don't know, that's how we started playing when we first got our card or invites. We played in Europe and then gradually traveled here to play events. We're pretty used to it by now. It's not all that difficult. When you fly east coast, west coast it's a four-hour flight. It's only two more hours or so to Europe which is not that bad. The guys have got so much money to play for over here, there's no need for them to travel.

Q. You've won now five times here since you've started playing regularly four or five years ago. Do you think that's about right or do you think you should have had more by now?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. I've won good ones, and I probably had my chances to win a couple more and I probably think I should win a bit more, but I'm getting more and more comfortable out there now, getting to know the golf courses, as well, that we play. I know which ones to pick and know the ones I like. I can work my schedule out that way so I'll give myself more chances.

Q. Is the TOUR going to ask you to play more now that you've won this?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm pretty much sticking to the same sort of schedule, the majors and events before and after the majors and world events, a couple of other tournaments that I like the golf courses like Phoenix and so on. I'm probably getting towards playing 20 events or so. This year was going to be 19 or 20, but with the injury I missed out on three.

Q. You were working quite hard last week on your swing. I just wonder if there was a point this week where things were rounding together enough that you thought, "I can win this thing"?

RETIEF GOOSEN: The first round I felt pretty bad out on the golf course. After the first round I was just thinking about my swing a little bit and just thinking of things I could try and got to the range the next morning and tried a few things, and I sort of found something that might help me a little bit to keep the club a bit better on line through impact. It gradually got better as the week went on.

Q. What's next for you? You mentioned flying to Orlando tonight and then presumably back home, and your wife's due date is when?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Pretty soon.

Q. A couple weeks?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's probably a week and a half or so, I think, when the baby will be here. If it comes early, then obviously I'll be playing the Grand Slam. If not, then the due date is the 24th, which is right on the Grand Slam date, then I probably won't be able to make it. Then I'm planning on playing the Million Dollar.

Q. Do you feel you have an advantage since you're somewhat overlooked here in America, even though you win big events?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, maybe in a way I like that, to just hang around under the radar and don't get any press interviews or nobody is bothering me for interviews. I just show up and play and go back and then hopefully on Sunday pick up the check and go home (laughter).

Q. Do you feel like maybe where your game is now that you're set up next year to potentially challenge for that No. 1 ranking in the world, and does that matter to you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, it's something to work for. I think I've probably got the opportunity to do it. I probably need to win about six times next year or so to catch Vijay with him being quite a long way ahead in the points, but it can be done. He's done that over the last couple of years, but it probably won't happen in one year. It'll probably have to happen over two or three years.

Q. That's what he said.

What would you expect out of Vijay next year coming off a nine-win season? What do you think is realistic for people to expect?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's going to be difficult to do that, but he's definitely going to win a few more next year, the way he's playing. I think he's still very motivated, so I don't think he'll -- it's going to be tough to win nine again, but he'll definitely walk away with a few.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297