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June 25, 2009

Retief Goosen


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you, Retief, for joining us, as always. Many congratulations on an excellent start to the BMW International Open 2009. Just give us your thoughts on the round. Obviously you said on television that putting was the key, but it looks as if it was pretty solid throughout.
RETIEF GOOSEN: That's right, yeah, I did hit the ball very well last week in the Open, especially the first two, three rounds and didn't really make anything on the greens.
Yeah, yesterday I was sort of testing a new TaylorMade putter during the Pro-Am and sort of felt good, so I decided to give it a try today. Yeah, from the first hole onwards, I hit it in close there about three feet for two, and I had a putt and from there on, everything started going in.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Did you hole a longer one at the third?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I holed about a 25-footer.
And then obviously the next two holes are very much birdie holes, and I didn't make birdies there, but the par 5, I had a good birdie again there and chipped down to a couple of feet.
9, I holed a 10-footer for birdie on 9. The front nine was good.
Disappointing par on 11. I hit a 5-wood into the green, hit it in the bunker and it came out about ten feet and missed that.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Good finish, obviously the three in a row. Talk us through those.
RETIEF GOOSEN: 16 is always a chance for birdie but they have the flag close to the water there today, and I hit a 5-wood off the tee and had about 80 yards left and hit it to about 12 feet behind the hole and made a good putt there.
17, I hit a 7-iron similar sort of distance, 12, 15 feet.
18 was a good drive and my second, completely splashed it right into the TV towers and stuff on the right there. When you get a round like this going, it's nice to get a break and make it a really good round. It could easily have gone in the water and ended up being a 6 and been disappointing.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Give us your take on what the conditions are like out there.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I would say, you know, it's like last week at the U.S. Open. The fairways were exactly the same. The greens are obviously slower here and a bit more bumpy, because they are softer than the greens were at the Open. But because they are slower, you can hit it firmer.
Pretty much similar. But otherwise, underfoot it feels the same as last week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Lift, clean and place here.
RETIEF GOOSEN: Last week you didn't have that chance, and you had a lot of balls that went in funny directions last week. This week, you had no choice; it was definitely way softer.

Q. Are you somebody that changes putter a lot?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No. The putter I've been putting with, I've been putting with since the beginning of 2001. I probably only changed three times in those eight years to a different putter.
I always think to go back to it, but it wasn't behaving last week. I could have had a chance last week to up there, especially the way I hit the ball. I thought maybe just a little bit of a different look might change things, and today, it did.

Q. Is it a new putter?
RETIEF GOOSEN: It's a putter TaylorMade for me about three years ago. Never tried it. Maybe I should have tried it earlier. It's the same sort of copy of what I'm putting with; it just has a little bit different feel.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Assuming it will be in the bag tomorrow?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I hope so, yeah. If the putts keep dropping like that, it will be.

Q. What did you think when you got here this week and found the weather conditions the same as you left behind?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I didn't even bring a sweater with. I left London and landed here and it was cold and wet. I couldn't believe it. Because London was 26 degrees, so it was hard to think that Germany was going to be colder.
But it's warming up now and getting a bit more humid. Yeah, it's a bit disappointing, but yeah, we are playing, that's the main thing.

Q. (Do you have a sweater yet)?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I still don't, but it's going to warm up.

Q. You're in your 40s; do you feel jet-lagged more?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm not in my 40s. I'm 40. (Laughter).

Q. Is jet-lag a problem for you?
RETIEF GOOSEN: No. I've always been somebody that managed. I slept about 11 hours last night, so that was good. Felt okay. It's okay coming in when you play in the afternoon. I'm wide awake now. I'm sure tomorrow morning might be a bit more difficult to get up. But a couple of three nights here, you get over the jet-lag pretty quick.

Q. You've almost won here before; what does this tournament mean to you?
RETIEF GOOSEN: You know, I always play in Germany. I like playing in Germany. It's a great crowd to play in front of, and we have great sponsors. They put on a great event for us here, and I have supported BMW tournaments for a very long time now.
You know, I quite like the course. Like I say, I lost in a playoff here a couple of years ago, so hopefully this week I can go one better.

Q. Africa will play Brazil tonight; will you watch the game?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, maybe I will. I'm sure it will be on TV somewhere, maybe. But yeah, I'm not a big soccer fan, definitely not. I'm more rugby and cricket. You've got the Lions going on at the moment in South Africa, so I tend to follow that more.

Q. Will you follow it?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I follow it. South Africa has a chance to make it through the first round. I've never been a football fan. I'll follow it, and obviously being from South Africa, hopefully it's a big success. I don't think it will be as much of a success as it's been in Germany, but I'm sure the guys will try and put on a good show down there.

Q. I think I heard an interview in the States with you where you worked on your fitness over the winter; had you let things slip badly. And why was that the case if you had?
RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't know. I've always worked out a little bit, but I've been concentrating a bit more on a bit more fitness.
Yeah, I think, you know, the last few weeks being hard courses to walk, I think being that little bit fitter has helped me. The tournaments I've won since November last year has all been on tough walking courses that you need to last four days, five days, and that's helped.

Q. Why did you let things slip?
RETIEF GOOSEN: Got lazy, I suppose, as simple as that. Yeah, I don't know, I just decided to try and get a little bit fitter again. You turn 40 and you don't want to let yourself go. You look how good shape Bernhard Langer is for his age, you definitely want to try and be in his shape when you turn 50. You just try and prolong your career.
SCOTT CROCKETT: I don't think we can hear any other questions, so hopefully there aren't anymore. Thank you very much.

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