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January 10, 2004

Retief Goosen


THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and get started with Retief. Thanks for coming by, 9-under par 64 today. Got yourself right back into the tournament. Great playing.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, thank you. It was nice, obviously playing with Tiger is nice. You know, if you get through No. 1 and 2 with a couple of pars, you sort of feel quite happy. But you feel you should make birdie on 3, 4, 5, 6, those holes, really get your chances.

THE MODERATOR: You get it on those holes with six birdies on the section next seven.

RETIEF GOOSEN: I think on No. 8, good downhill putt that was sort of a bonus putt. But overall, I was happy with the round. Obviously, it wasn't blowing as strong as yesterday, which made it a little bit easier off the tees as well as iron shots into the greens.

THE MODERATOR: Can we get you to go through your birdies for us real quick, then we'll take some questions.

RETIEF GOOSEN: No. 3, 3-wood, sand wedge to about 20 feet.

3-wood, 9-iron down to about 10 feet.

No. 5, hit driver, 3-wood, left of the green, chipped down to about 10 feet, holed the putt.

6, driver just short right of the green, chipped down to about a foot.

8, I hit 7-iron probably about 16 feet.

9, 4-iron, 2-iron short left, chipped down to about five feet.

No. 11, hit wedge to about five feet there.

16, driver, wedge down to about 10 feet.

18, driver, 4-iron, 30 feet, 2-putt.


Q. Any ideas why guys have been getting out to such long birdie streaks? Seems like it's coming in streaks.

RETIEF GOOSEN: You have your chances. Like I say, No. 3, 4, 5, you're hitting short-irons into them, especially today. Obviously, the par 5, No. 5, is reachable. Then 6, you can drive the green. Just have got to get the right bounce down at the bottom of the hill there and hope to give yourself an easy chip shot down to the flag.

No. 9, it's been playing downwind, so I think it's probably been the easiest hole on the course this week.

Then on the Back 9, you know, it can play a little bit tough there. 12, 13, even 14, such a short hole, with the wind playing across, if you don't hit the right shot, you can get yourself into trouble on that little hole.

Q. What does that say about what Vijay did on the last seven yesterday?

RETIEF GOOSEN: His round yesterday was great in that wind. The wind was playing probably two clubs stronger than it blew today. Really good round he got in there yesterday.

Q. Do you and Tiger have your own private competition out there today?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, we didn't. We were both trying hard. His round could have been lower. He struggled a bit with the putter on a couple of holes. He played actually better than me. He just putted worse than me. That was the difference.

Q. Tomorrow what do you have to do? Kind of go out and get out in front of the two leaders, see where it takes you?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah. It all depends what the weather is doing tomorrow. If it's going to be like this again, I'm probably going to shoot another 8-under or 9-under to give myself a chance. I'm probably thinking four or five behind starting in tomorrow.

You're going to need a low one tomorrow to catch the guys up there.

Q. Did you feel like coming into the tournament that you were in good shape, ready to go, refreshed?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, that's pretty much the last thing I felt. The first round of golf I played was on Monday in a month. First time I hit some balls in a month was probably last Sunday. I came here pretty rusted.

On Tuesday, the face of my driver cracked. I had to get a new driver. I'm not all that comfortable off the tee. But my iron play is getting better. Today I shaped the ball a lot better into the greens to give myself the birdie chances.

Q. Do you prefer the wind in this direction, the opposite direction, I guess?

RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, the Front 9 I think probably plays obviously easier with this wind. The Back 9 plays a bit tougher. It's going to be vice versa if the blows the other way. I'm not sure what's forecast is for tomorrow, but I think it's probably going to be the same.

THE MODERATOR: Retief, thanks for coming by. Good luck tomorrow.


End of FastScripts.

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