Golf Talk Live - Goosen Gossett Transcript Segment 1
RETIEF GOOSEN HANDLED THE FIELD, THE COURSE, AND THE PRESSURE BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE IN WINNING THE U.S. OPEN AT SOUTHERN HILLS. HE THEN TRAVELED TO THE HOME OF GOLF AND
DISPLAYED THE SAME TRAITS IN WINNING THE SCOTTISH OPEN. 22 YEAR OLD DAVID GOSSETT WON THE U.S. AMATEUR IN 1999 AND ON A SPONSOR'S EXEMPTION, JUST ONE, THE JOHN DEERE CLASSIC WHICH IN
TURN MADE HIM ELIGIBLE FOR THIS WEEKS PGA CHAMPIONSHIP. WE'VE GOT GOOSEN AND WE'VE GOT GOSSETT, NOW, ON GOLF TALK LIVE.
THE FOLLOWING IS AN ENCORE PRESENTATION OF GOLF TALK LIVE.
JUST BEFORE 15 YEAR OLD RETIEF GOOSEN WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTENING WHILE PLAYING GOLF IN 1985 NEAR HIS HOME IN SOUTH AFRICA, HE WAS THINKING THAT IF THE BREWING STORM WOULD PASS BY, THEY COULD PLAY UNTIL THE LAST FLIGHT BATED (?).
A WEEK AFTER HIS NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE, HE WAS BACK ON THE FORCE, COMPETING AGAINST OTHER YOUNG STARS LIKE ERNIE ELS.
FIVE YEARS LATER HE WON THE SOUTH AFRICAN AMATEUR. TURNED PROFESSIONAL SHORTLY THERE AFTER AND IN 1992 WON THE EUROPEAN TOUR'S QUALIFYING SCHOOL TOURNAMENT. HE HAD BECOME TEMPERAMENTAL AND
WITHDRAWN SINCE HIS ACCIDENT AND HE WORKED DILIGENTLY ON HIS PERSONALITY AND HIS GOLF GAME.
IN 1995, BOTH CAME HAPPILY TOGETHER. HE WON THE SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN, AND PLAYING WITH ERNIE ELS, EAGLED THE FINAL HOLE TO WIN BY FIVE, AND HIS TEMPER WAS NO LONGER IN EVIDENCE. HE WON FOUR TIMES IN EUROPE THROUGH
2000 AND WON TEN CONSECUTIVE DUNHILL CUP SINGLES MATCHES. IN 2001, THE GOOSE MARRIED HIS LONG TIME LOVE AND CONTINUED TO PLAY THE EUROPEAN TOUR WHERE HE'S MOST COMFORTABLE, AND AFTER ONE SMALL
MISUNDERSTANDING WITH HIS PUTTER
ON THE 72ND HOLE OF THE U.S. OPEN, HE WON AN 18 HOLE PLAY OFF OVER MARK BROOKS, WITH A MERE 11 PUTTS OVER THE FIRST NINE HOLES.
FOLLOWING THE BRILLIANCE OF HIS U.S. OPEN WIN, RETIEF WON THE SCOTTISH OPEN AT LOCH LOMAN OVER AN INTERNATIONAL STAR STUDDED FIELD, AND THIS TIME, HIS PUTTER COOPERATED FULLY FOR ALL 72 HOLES, ERASING ALL TRACES OF HIS FORMER TEMPERAMENTAL SELF, JUST LIKE IT'S OWNER.
FROM THE ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CLUB, SIGHT OF THE 2001 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, WELCOME TO GOLF TALK LIVE. I'M PETER KESSLER. GREAT PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE FIRST OF OUR TWO GUESTS THIS EVENING, HE IS THE CURRENT SCOTTISH
NATIONAL OPEN CHAMPION, THE CURRENT UNITED STATES OPEN CHAMPION, RETIEF GOOSEN. GREAT TO SEE YOU.
PETER, THANK YOU.
THAT'S THE KIND OF SUMMER THAT THE REST OF US CAN ONLY DREAM ABOUT. CONGRATULATIONS.
YEAH, I KNOW IT'S BEEN AN UNBELIEVABLE YEAR. SO MANY THINGS HAPPENED, YOU KNOW, WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS AND GETTING MARRIED, IT'S BEEN A VERY EXCITING YEAR FOR ME.
HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN YOU'RE EXCITED?
NOW YOU PROMISED YOU WERE GOING TO BE FUNNY, FASCINATING AND LONG WINDED TONIGHT SO I EXPECT ALL THOSE THINGS FROM YOU.
WELL I THINK MY WIFE KNOWS WHEN I'M EXCITED BUT IN GENERAL, IT, YOU KNOW, I'M EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING IN LIFE BUT MIGHT NOT SHOW IT ON THE OUTSIDE BUT ON THE INSIDE I ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT AND LIFE'S BEEN GREAT FOR ME, YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN GIVEN A
SECOND CHANCE, IN A WAY, YOU KNOW, AFTER THE LIGHTENING STRUCK, BUT, I MEAN, LIKE YOU KNOW, I'M REALLY ENJOYING MY GOLF AND JUST TRYING TO ENJOY WINNING GOLF TOURNAMENTS.
YOU MENTIONED THE LIGHTENING RIGHT AWAY, YOUR FAMILY AND PEOPLE CLOSE TO YOU HAVE SAID THAT WHEN THIS HAPPENED TO YOU, LITERALLY, HALF A LIFETIME AGO JUST BEFORE YOU TURNED
16 YEARS OLD, THAT YOUR PERSONALITY CHANGED, THAT YOUR DEMEANOR CHANGED, BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK, IF ANYTHING CHANGED ABOUT YOU THE WAY THAT YOU THINK OR FEEL SINCE THE LIGHTENING STRUCK YOU 16 YEARS AGO?
WELL I DON'T KNOW, YOU KNOW, AS A KID, EVERYBODY'S A BIT OUT GOING AND WILD. WHEN I GOT HIT BY LIGHTENING I DON'T THINK IT CHANGED ME AT ALL, REALLY. I THINK, YOU KNOW, GOLF IS A
QUIET GAME. YOU'RE OUT ON A GOLF COURSE EVERYDAY, PLAYING. I'VE PLAYED A LOT OF GOLF ON MY OWN, YOU KNOW, NOT PLAYING WITH ANYBODY ELSE, OR SOME OF THE JUNIORS I'VE
PLAYED WITH SOME NOW AND THEN BUT IN GENERAL IT'S A QUIET GAME AND MAYBE THAT'S WHY I GOT QUIET, BUT, YOU KNOW, I, I ENJOYED PLAYING WITH THE FEW JUNIOR GUYS I HAD THAT, THE CLUB WASN'T VERY BIG, SO THERE WASN'T A LOT OF JUNIORS AROUND, BUT
THEY WERE MOSTLY ENGLISH AND WHILE I WAS AFRICAN (?) SPEAKING, I COULDN'T REALLY, THEY DIDN'T REALLY LIKE FOR ME TO FORGET(??) THEIR REALLY AFRICANS (???),
YOU KNOW, SO, THEY KEPT THEMSELVES AND I KEPT ME ON MY SIDE AND WELL, HERE I AM NOW, 16 YEARS LATER GOING ON WINNING MAJORS. IT'S GREAT.
DO YOU THINK IT'S THE ATTITUDE THAT YOU JUST DESCRIBED ABOUT BEING QUIET, BEING A QUIET GAME AND ATTENDING TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS. IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY, IN HEAD TO HEAD PLAY, FOR EXAMPLE, THE DUNHILL CUP, WHERE
YOU WON TEN CONSECUTIVE SINGLES MATCHES. YOU DIDN'T LOSE A MATCH IN THE PRESIDENT'S CUP, YOU BEAT MARK BROOKS IN THE PLAY OFF, IS THAT WHY YOU THINK, TO A LARGE DEGREE, OTHER THAN THE QUALITY OF YOUR GOLF, OF COURSE, THAT YOU'RE ABLE TO BE
SUCCESSFUL AND PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND IGNORE THE DISTRACTIONS, IN HEAD TO HEAD COMPETITION, LIKE THAT?
WELL I HAVE TO LEARN THAT REALLY, I THINK, AS A JUNIOR, I HAD QUITE A TEMPERAMENT ON THE COURSE. YOU KNOW, I REMEMBER BREAKING THREE CLUBS IN NINE HOLES ONCE, BUT IT GOT A BIT EXPENSIVE WHEN I HAD TO PAY IT OUT
OF MY POCKET MONEY TO RESHAFT THE CLUBS SO, I, I LEARNED TO BECOME A LOT MORE CALM ON THE COURSE. MY WIFE HAS HELPED ME A LONG TO RELAX AS WELL AND WORKING THREE YEARS AGO WITH A SPORT'S PSYCHOLOGIST TO TRY AND YOU KNOW, GET MY FOCUSING MORE
ON WHAT'S LYING AHEAD AND NOT WORRY TOO MUCH WHAT'S JUST BEEN YOU KNOW, AND, I THINK THAT'S HELPED ME THROUGH IN A U.S. OPEN, COMING BACK ON A MONDAY TO FORGET WHAT'S HAPPENED AND JUST CARRY ONWARDS.
WITH WHAT'S COMING UP.
WHEN YOU WERE A KID AND TAPING TOURNAMENTS AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO MAKE THE GOLF SWING WORK, AND FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE GAME, WHO WERE THE PEOPLE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR IDOLS THEN?
WELL IN THOSE DAYS THE ONLY TOURNAMENTS I REALLY WATCHED ON TV WAS THE MASTERS AND THE BRITISH OPEN. TV COVERAGE WASN'T THAT EARLY IN SOUTH AFRICA AS IT WAS OVER HERE,
BUT, I REMEMBER, PROBABLY, BALLESTEROS, NICK FALDO, JACK NICKLAUS, THOSE WERE MY HEROES GROWING UP. I LEARNED MY GOLF FROM BEN HOGAN, IT'S FUNDAMENTALS OF GOLF AND JACK NICKLAUS GOLF MY WAY.
MY DAD WAS A PRETTY GOOD GOLFER AT ONE STAGE. A TWO HANDICAP PLAYER. SO HE TAUGHT ME A LOT, AND MY TWO OLDER BROTHERS PLAY GOLF AS WELL,
BUT MAINLY I LEARNED MY GOLF MYSELF, JUST FROM LOOKING AT GOLF BOOKS AND TRYING COPY WHAT'S IN GOLF BOOKS.
IT HASN'T WORKED FOR THE REST OF US. TELL ME ABOUT THE PRACTICE AREA. THE UNIQUE PRACTICE AREA THAT YOUR DAD CONSTRUCTED FOR YOU AT HOME WHEN YOU WERE A KID.
YEAH WE HAD JUST A BIG PRACTICE NET IN THE BACKYARD AND MY MOM GOT VERY UPSET, ME EATING (?) ALL THE GRASS OUT. YOU KNOW, WE HAD LIKE A BIG HOLE THERE AT ONE STAGE, YOU KNOW, AND HAD TO KEEP FILLING IT UP WITH SAND. I REMEMBER PRACTICING
AT NIGHT AT 10:00 AT NIGHT HITTING BALLS AGAINST THE PRACTICE NET, BUT YOU KNOW AS A KID THAT'S FUN. YOU ENJOYED IT, AND IT WAS GOOD FUN STANDING THERE AND HITTING BALLS AND SEE HOW HARD YOU CAN HIT IT.
YOU STILL DO THAT.
WELL I WAS PROBABLY A MUCH LONGER HITTER WHEN I WAS YOUNGER BUT I WAS A BIT WILDER BUT I WORKED HARD WITH SAM FROST TO TRY AND SHORTEN MY
SWING A LITTLE BIT, MAKE IT A BIT MORE COMPACT AND TRY AND KEEP IT
UNDER CONTROL A LITTLE BIT AND HE'S HELPED ME A LOT WITH THAT.
THEY SHOULD GIVE HIM A MEDAL. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A VERY SHORT BREAK. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH RETIEF GOOSEN.
Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile
Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.
The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.
"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."
He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).
Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.
“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."
Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.
Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.
Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.
The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.
McIlroy gets back on track
There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:
He is well ahead of schedule.
Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.
“Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”
To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”
And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.
After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out.
Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.
“I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”
The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.
The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)
But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.
Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.
Everything in his life is lined up.
Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.
Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore
Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.
Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.
There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.
Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.
The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.
Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again
Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.
Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.
It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.
Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.
While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.