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May 1, 2009

Retief Goosen


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, thanks for joining us here after your second consecutive round of 68 here at the Quail Hollow Championship. You won the Transitions Championship earlier this season and you're off to a great start here. Maybe a few opening comments about a good start for you this week.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it's nice to be up there. Obviously this year has been a little bit better for me on the golf course, and it's nice to be up in the Top 10 position a bit more often and see how your game stands up on the weekend. So I'm looking forward to the weekend, see how it goes.
The course is tough. Obviously I think it's going to change a little bit on the weekend with rain coming in, but the course is playing fairly tough today, this afternoon anyway.

Q. How many fairways did you hit today?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. You know, it doesn't matter, as long as it's on the golf course (laughter) and just go from there. I probably hit quite a few fairways but didn't end up on the fairway.

Q. You've played well at this golf course before. What is it you like about it, anything in particular?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I've played well here a few years ago besides the last hole. It's a good, tough course. You need to hit it well into the greens and putt well. The greens are slopy, a lot of break on the greens, and they're rolling out there now like U.S. Open greens. I'm putting very well, making a lot of good up-and-downs, made a few good long putts for birdie, as well, today, so it's nice to see the putter rolling.

Q. Would you talk about the crispiness of the greens and the speed of the greens? How does it compare with Tampa this year?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't think they're quite as quick as Tampa yet, no. Tampa seemed to be a little bit more crustier and rolling a bit more out. But these are speeding up quickly now. There's a few flags that it's impossible to get close. So it's tough.

Q. I'm trying to remember back to the year you alluded to before the last hole. Were you within a shot of Jim and Trevor with one to go or somewhere thereabouts, a shot or two?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I think I started within a shot and coming down the last I think I was four behind or something coming down the last. I ended up throwing a few balls in the water. Anyway, I'm still here. I can try again this week.

Q. You mentioned you said you're putting the ball really, really well. When was the last time you could sit in a chair and say that confidently?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, it seems like at the beginning of the year I tried the long putter and maybe that helped me a little bit because it's a totally different technique, and maybe it helped me a little bit going back to the shorter putter. I sort of just kept that technique but just with the shorter putter. I might have putted just a little bit heavier because the belly putter is just a little heavy because of the length, so it made my shorter putter a bit heavier, and suddenly I started making some good strokes again.

Q. You obviously putt well on very fast greens. Why is that?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know, I just like to -- being able to stroke the ball softly and the ball getting to the hole. I find it easier to stroke it than I think to hit it. If you play on slow greens up the hill, then you have to hit it. There's no feel for me. I like it when I feel like I can just get the ball going.

Q. Is it the same putter head that you had the belly putter on, you just cut it back down?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, same putter, yeah.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: We'll go over the scorecard real quick.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I started on 10. I drove it in the middle of the fairway and then hit it dead in the bunker and chopped it out to about 40 feet and holed the putt.
14, I hit 4-iron off the tee and hit a 6-iron to about 12 feet and made that.
18, I drove it left of the water on the bank there and chipped it up and then hit on the green and two-putted.
No. 2, I hit 7-iron to about 15 feet, 20 feet and made a putt there.
Hit it in the bunker on my second shot on 4. Couldn't get it close, so the closest I could get it was about 25 feet, and I made 5.
Then I birdied -- drove it in the rough left on 5, hit a 9-iron out and then hit a sand iron to, I don't know, five feet.
Hit driver, 5-iron on 7, two-putted.
And 9, I hit a big drive and hit a soft 9-iron to about 20 feet.

Q. What was your first blush reaction when you saw the setup this week since you had just won at Tampa on a golf course where it was 8-under maybe, the winning score, something like that, and if you hadn't been hitting fairways and greens you were just dead?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, Tampa had deep rough. There was a difference. I think everybody was a bit surprised when they got here. They thought the scoring was going to be a bit low, 7-under was leading, so you think today 12-under will be leading or something. I think it's just the conditions that have really changed the golf course. It's hard to hit the fairways.
Like I said, it's running very fast, the fairways, and now with the rough you can't stop it even though you can get to the green.
It's a good setup for these conditions. If it stays like this it's going to get harder. If it rains then you can expect scoring to get lower again.
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Retief Goosen, thank you. Good luck this weekend.

End of FastScripts

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