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August 2, 2012

Retief Goosen


LAURA HILL:テつ We'd like to welcome Retief Goosen to the interview room.テつ A nice start out there with a 67.テつ Just some general comments on how you found the course and the start you're off to.
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yeah, the course is about as good as I've seen it here.テつ The greens are running like Augusta speeds.テつ The fairways are quick, as well.テつ It's pretty much as good as I've seen it.テつ The rough is up, too.テつ So it's quite hard to hit some of these fairways, the slopes in the fairways to keep it out of the rough.テつ Today was good, one double bogey and a bogey and six birdies.

Q.テつ You say Augusta speeds.テつ You've always liked fast greens.テつ Is that still the case, and why would that be?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Well, I like this golf course.テつ Yeah, I don't know, for some reason I putt better on quicker greens, so I feel like I can make a better stroke when I just have to stroke it and not hit it.
The greens are perfect here.テつ If you hit it on the right line, it's good.テつ But they're also very tricky.テつ There's a lot of break on them, so it's hard to get the right lines, as well.

Q.テつ Where are you health‑wise right now?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ About 5 out of 10.テつ No, my physio Cornel is doing a good job keeping me on the course at the moment.テつ I am in discussions with a number of doctors to see what sort of options there are with the back, but at the moment we've just got to keep grinding away and play well.

Q.テつ Is it still the back that's the major problem?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yeah, yeah, definitely.テつ I am struggling to keep the muscles from firing down in the lower back.テつ It's been a struggle the last year definitely.

Q.テつ What has been the issue with the back?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ It's an L3‑L4 degenerating disk, and some of the bone is growing a little bit funny.テつ So at the moment it is a struggle to sleep properly and to get going in the mornings, to warm up.テつ And yeah, I'm losing a lot of distance out there on the golf course.テつ I can't quite go at it as hard as I would like to.

Q.テつ Is it one of those things where you're talking to doctors to try and figure out ways to avoid surgery?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ I've seen many guys, non‑surgical guys.テつ I've had some PRP injections early in the year, what Vijay and Couples has had, cortisone shots, everything you can probably think of at the moment.テつ That is sort of keeping me on the golf course at the moment.

Q.テつ Does it cut into your practice time, your ability to practice, or is that pretty good?テつ Once you get loose, can you practice the way you used to?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Warming up in the mornings is okay.テつ Yeah, it takes a while, but generally after a round maybe 30 balls and then I'm done.テつ Then I'm struggling to stand up straight and hit it properly.テつ So then I'm just hurting myself.テつ So about 30 balls is about as much as I can hit.

Q.テつ The course today, you've played here enough to have a good sense of the place.テつ Is it markedly different than it's been in years past?テつ Is it as good as it's been, somewhere in the middle, in terms of the overall playing conditions?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ It's probably been in as good condition before, but I think it's starting to play a bit firmer than it has in the past.テつ We've had a bit of rain in the past few years.テつ But the ball is actually running a little, bouncing on the fairways.テつ In the past it was a bit more softer, the fairways.
The greens this morning were a lot softer.テつ I'm sure this afternoon they will dry out a little bit.テつ But the course is firming up, yeah.

Q.テつ Given the struggle that it has been for the past year, what do you attribute today to?テつ How do you get through the pain and all the difficulty that you have getting out here?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Well, like I said, a lot of physio exercises. テつI'm working hard to try to get the inner core strong to support the back.テつ Like I said, I've had injections to take some of the nerve pain away.テつ That's pretty much all you can do now, physio and stay fit and try and stay as loose as you can.
LAURA HILL:テつ Retief, thank you.テつ Good luck the rest of the week.

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