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June 19, 2004

Retief Goosen


MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, joining us now at the podium at 5-under par for the championship, our current leader with a 69 today, Retief Goosen.

Q. How does it feel?

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's great to be here, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Obviously the course is playing -- probably today it played like it can play. The greens were rock hard and very bumpy and tricky to putt on. Today I putted very nicely and that kept me in the thick of things.

Q. On 18, the approach shot, did you have a good lie?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I had a good lie in the rough; it went exactly where I wanted to hit it. I just hoped it would kick straight and maybe end up in that. The last yardage today to the pin I figured was about 100 or 104 yards. I hit a sand wedge. The first shot I left myself in a tricky position in.

Q. (Inaudible).

RETIEF GOOSEN: Today, you know, with the way the wind -- the prevailing wind around this golf course, some of the holes played really tough.

Like 10, you know, the second shot in there, it's so difficult to stop it. And I had a perfect shot in there to keep it two yards past the hole.

Q. (Inaudible).

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, he should be a good wind player, growing up at the coast. I played with him a few years ago. He knows how to play in the wind, to shape it in the wind. And as we know, this course -- it's going to be -- he's going to be tough to beat.

Q. How do these conditions now at this point in the tournament compare to what you found when you won?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Obviously Southern Hills wasn't as firm as this. Southern Hills the greens were tough, but the greens were really dried out. In fact, the ball was getting away from us. It's going to be interesting to see what's out for us tomorrow.

Q. (Inaudible).

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I felt comfortable out there today, actually quite calm for an Open Championship. And my focusing was pretty good. That helped me stay calm a little bit. And I holed a few par putts, so I'm happy.

Q. (Inaudible).

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I mean, it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to be nervous when you play out there. It's how you handle the pressure, that's all.

Q. At 13 and 14, over both greens, again, just --

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, that's missing the fairway, really. Really a 3-iron on 14 and 2-iron on 15, missing the fairway you pretty much deserve a bogey. The shots I had into the green I didn't have a chance. I was hoping for an up-and-down, which I couldn't manage to do.

Q. 15, how did you get there, for those of us that didn't see it?

RETIEF GOOSEN: 15 I had a 3-wood off the tee, and a wedge into about 20 feet left of the hole.

Q. When you look at these conditions right now, what kind of day do you expect tomorrow? Can people keep it under par?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I would think that, you know, probably under par is going to win it, but just -- and that all depends on what the weather is going to be like tomorrow. If it's calm then probably looking at 4-under could win it. But if it's blowing again and getting tricky, who knows what the winning score is going to be.

Q. (Inaudible).

RETIEF GOOSEN: It all depends on the wind. If it blows the same as today, it will be the same sort of game. If it blows the other way, it could be a different golf course.

Q. With the way you're playing and Ernie and Phil, three of the top golfers in the world, is that something you look forward to is that kind of competition with those type of players?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, yeah, I expect those two guys to be up there come Sunday, and my golf hasn't exactly been 100 percent of late, but I've worked more on my game in the last few months and my fitness, so I'm feeling like I'm ready for Sunday at the U.S. Open.

End of FastScripts.

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