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June 15, 2001

Retief Goosen


Q. (Inaudible.)

RETIEF GOOSEN: It's like Goosen. Goose with an N. That's the easiest way for everybody to say it.

Q. You made the cut last year, and here you're going into a Saturday at the U.S. Open, in a tie for the lead. Just talk a little bit about how that feels.

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, yes, I'm tied for the lead, but there's still a lot of players to be finished. Obviously, I'm very happy to where I've been playing. I putted very well. And yesterday was really a good iron play day for me. I hit the ball really close to the flags. Today I didn't quite hit it as good as I hit it yesterday, but I managed to keep it together.

Q. Tiger at 5-over, a lot of people are watching you, because you could have an impact on whether he plays on Saturday. Did you have any sense of that?

RETIEF GOOSEN: No, I had no idea. I thought he was playing better than that. I heard a couple of big roars in front of us, and I thought it was him on a roll again. It's surprising to see him at that, knowing that the course is probably not that long for him. He can hit a lot of irons off the tee. But I'm happy with the way it's been going. The course is in great condition, obviously. It played a lot softer than yesterday. But it's going to dry out fairly quick. Hitting the fairways is a little bit easier. The ball doesn't roll as much off, so -- but it's going to dry out, it's going to be an interesting weekend.

Q. You made six birdies in the first 13 holes. Did you find yourself in a position to be more cautious, and know that you have the lead or stay aggressive?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I was trying to attack flags where I can. Obviously, the last few holes are quite tricky. 14 and 15 and 16 and then 18 obviously is not really easy birdie hole. 17 you've got a chance, if you can hit a good line shot in there. But I was trying to finish 6-under, but I just couldn't do it over a couple of bogeys, unfortunately, finishing. But this afternoon I was quite happy with the way I played. I hung in there, I just made pars the first sort of 12 holes, and then hit a really bad 3-wood on the 13th hole, trying to hit a draw in there and ended up hitting a slice. And not a very good up-and-down for birdie. And then, unfortunately, I hit a bad 5-iron on the next that plugged in the bunker and made bogey. And then I really had really good iron shots into the next two holes, but just couldn't make the putts. On 18 I unfortunately pulled a 4-iron into the green, and didn't find a good lie off the green, and couldn't get it up-and-down.

Q. You play a lot of golf in Europe and South Africa, I know you played a few events in the States. How important is it for you to establish yourself as a player in America, for people to see you on a worldwide stage?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Obviously, I'd like to play over here, but I am in no rush to come over here. If I do well enough to get my card to play over here, then I'll consider it to play. I like Europe and I like the different things on the European Tour. I like it over here as well. The weather is very nice. It's just like South Africa. But I'm in no rush. If I do well enough to get here, I'll make a plan.

End of FastScripts....

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