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June 5, 2014

Retief Goosen


KELLY BARNES:テつ Please welcome Retief Goosen into the interview room.テつ You got off to an early lead today.テつ Talk about what was working for you the first 9 today and the conditions out there on the course.
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yeah.テつ The course played quite tricky.テつ Kind of a stiff breeze blowing out there on some of the holes.テつ Lot of these holes are quite tree-lined so it's hard to judge the wind.
But I got off to a nice run through 13 to 17 and made four birdies and that sort of, you know, got the round going.テつ I made a good -- I made a bad bogey on the 3rd hole but made a nice birdie on the next and then a bogey on the 5th.
But, overall, happy with my round.テつ Nice to get off to a good start and try and hold on to that.
KELLY BARNES:テつ Open up to questions.

Q.テつ Retief, what was working for you?テつ You mentioned the birdies.テつ You had some nice long putts.テつ Was it your putter or what worked there?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ I would say the putting.テつ Couple of the birdies were fairly close but the other ones, fairly 15 footers and so that I made and I made probably a 12-footer on 7 for par as well.
So, that sort of kept the round going nicely and, yeah, the greens are as good as greens as you can get.テつ The greens are rolling close to 13 on the stimpmeter.テつ They are really good.テつ You hit the right putt, they're going to go in.

Q.テつ Retief, you talk about how this course sets up for you.テつ I know you were 3rd a few years ago here.テつ You seemed to have played well.
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ I like this golf course.テつ It's a golf course you need to hit a lot of different kind of shots off the tee.テつ It's not a golf course that you can just blast away at it, not that I can anymore anyway.テつ So actually a lot of holes now doglegs I don't have to worry about running out so that's good.
The course is in really good shape.テつ A little bit more rough throughout than there has been in the past.テつ You pretty much have no chance of stopping it on these greens with the rough.
Today, I kept it fairly good on the fairway and the back-9 was a couple of bad drives but depends what happens now, the weather this afternoon.テつ If it rains the greens will get softer and make the course play quite a bit different than it did this morning.

Q.テつ I just wanted to follow-up on that.
Obviously you play early, you get your round done but, on the other hand, you're looking at the possibility of some guys having a little softer conditions.テつ What's your perspective on that?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ That's one thing we can't control is the weather but yeah, this course played tough this morning.テつ The fairways running out pretty good and, like I say, some of the greens are really tough to get close.
Yeah, it could rain, could have a delay and come back tomorrow morning, no wind and the guys shoot 7, 8-under.テつ Who knows?テつ As it's playing now, it's tough out there.テつ Hopefully we won't get too much rain.テつ I prefer the course to play hard and fast.

Q.テつ I'm going to ask you this, you made birdies on some of the tougher holes out there and then couple of the par-5s you lost shots.
How frustrating is that?テつ What happened there?テつ You feel like you left something out there?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yeah.テつ Obviously the par-5s were disappointing, especially 16.テつ You always like to birdie in but I'd rather -- but I hit it right in the trees.テつ From there I took a chance with a 3-wood through the trees to get it down to maybe ten yards short of the green and get it up and down but I hit it in the bunker in the right which left me no shot.テつ Nearly made about a 20-footer there for birdie.
Then hit a good drive on the other one.テつ I thought it was good.テつ Nipped the right edge of one of the trees and shot it 20, 30 yards left, right up against the tree in the jungle.テつ I had to actually chip backwards towards the tee and from there I hit a 3-wood to lay up and then a sand wedge to about 20 feet and missed the putt.
Two par-5s were disappointing but, you know, it's a lot of other holes out there that, like you said, played tough and I made some birdies on and so I can't really complain.

Q.テつ Retief, I know you have three Top 20 finishes so far this year.テつ Can you talk about the first five months how your golf game has been?
RETIEF GOOSEN:テつ Yes.テつ After the layoff at the end of last year when I started playing again in Augusta, I think it was, yeah, the game was rough but I honestly can't complain.
My back is feeling great.テつ No back pain.テつ I wish I was 20 years younger but that is never going to happen but, you know, my back is feeling probably the best now it has felt for probably 6, 7 years.
It's nice to be back out here playing again and could have been end of my career but I'm back out here, feeling confident and hopefully just start getting a better consistency going.テつ If I can just get to four good rounds, that will give me a chance to win.
KELLY BARNES:テつ Any further questions?テつ Thanks Retief.

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