Goosen Feeling a Bit Underappreciated

By Associated PressJune 15, 2005, 4:00 pm
PINEHURST, N.C. -- Two U.S. Open titles and another 20 victories around the world should be enough to make Retief Goosen a star. Yet when he arrived at Pinehurst No. 2 this week, the 36-year-old South African found little evidence to support that.
'There's times that I feel like, yeah, you've won a couple of U.S. Opens and there's not a picture of you anywhere or nothing has been mentioned or anything like that,' Goosen said Wednesday. 'And you feel like, well, in a way, it makes you more determined to try and win another one and see what happens next time you some back, if there's a picture somewhere.'
His fellow players certainly appreciate Goosen and his performance last year at Shinnecock Hills. Despite brutal playing conditions -- 28 players failed to break 80 in the final round, including Ernie Els -- Goosen completed a steady 1-over 71 to beat Phil Mickelson by two shots.
That, coupled with his victory at Southern Hills in 2001, makes him one of four two-time champs in the field this week.
'It's always nice coming back as the defending champion, and I'm looking forward to this week,' Goosen said. 'Hopefully, come the weekend, I'll have a chance.'
It might not be enough to change his reputation. Perhaps it's Goosen's persona on the course, where the calm, relaxed demeanor that serves him so well in major championships makes him appear boring. He rarely smiles during competition, and when he strolled off the 18th green at No. 2 earlier this week following a practice round, some fans wondered just who he was.
'I don't know what the guys want me to do,' Goosen said. 'Do they want me to do handstands when I make a putt and all that kind of stuff? You know, I go out there and try and win a tournament, and try and play my best and see if I can win.'
Even one of his greatest triumphs was lost a bit amid the complaints and controversy over the setup at Shinnecock. Instead of celebrating Goosen's wonderful play, many people remember the diabolical green at the par-3 seventh hole, where few were able to hold the putting surface and the USGA was forced to water it for every other group the last day.
And this week, Tiger Woods is trying to win back-to-back majors for the first time since 2002, when he captured the Masters and U.S. Open. Earlier this season, Woods won the Masters for the fourth time, and he arrives at Pinehurst with his game in good shape.
'The better players just seem to come to the top come the weekend,' Goosen said. 'Saturday, Sunday, they creep their way up. You'll probably have somebody the first couple of rounds leading that nobody has heard of, and then on the weekend, the better players just seem to rise to the top.'
Even the USGA understands that Goosen has been pushed aside this week with all the talk about course setup.
'I'm disappointed in a sense that Retief's remarkable performance was overshadowed,' USGA executive director David Fay said.
Goosen just needs to do it again.
'I like the tougher golf courses, where you have to grind out a little bit more, work hard for par,' he said. 'I prefer this type of golf, really, to a golf course that you know you need to shoot 26-under to win.'
Related links:
  • Full Field Scores - 105th U.S. Open
  • Full Coverage - 105th U.S. Open

  • Tee Times - U.S. Open

  • Photo Gallery from Pinehurst

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

    Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

    Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

    ''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

    They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

    ''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

    Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

    ''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

    Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

    Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

    Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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    Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

    Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

    Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

    Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

    Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

    The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

    Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

    By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.