Goosen Hopes For a Good Start to 2001


Only Retief Goosen could say with a straight face that his golfing goals for 2001 are fairly vague, and that he would be satisfied with a win every week.

Goosen, RetiefGoosen flew into a gusty Wild Coast Sun for this week's Nashua Nedtel Cellular Masters, making an earlier tournament start to his year than he has in the past. The Sunshine Tour (South African) event, which tees off on Thursday, will offer him the perfect chance to refine those swing changes he worked so hard on in the last three months of 2000.
And then there is the desire to add his name to 80 years of South African golfing history with a possible victory in one of the country's flagship tournaments.
'I feel quite confident about my game at the moment,' Goosen said. 'I've worked hard on my swing, and it's only a question of time before I start playing well again. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable on the golf course than I did throughout most of last year.'
Last year was not exactly a write off for the European Tour's 10th-ranked player, ending with a victory in the Trophee Lancome. 'I came right towards the end of the year, winning the Trophee Lancome. But I wasn't as consistent as I would've liked. I want to improve on that this year.'
The par-70 Wild Coast course welcomed this week's field with the traditional gusting wind that makes it one of the most difficult tests on the summer tour. But the Robert Trent Jones II designed layout always has a special affinity for a certain Zimbabwean golfer that has almost made the course his own.
Mark McNulty comes to the Wild Coast seeking to become the second most prolific winner of the Masters and hunting his fifth victory in the event, but still a long way off Gary Player's record of 10 titles. McNulty has also won five times at the Wild Coast throughout his career, the last of which was a victory in the Stenham Swaziland Open - moved from the Royal Swazi because of poor greens - here 11 months ago.
The dapper Zimbabwean's sublime 61 in the final round of that event is still very much a talking point amongst the players this week, who have no doubt as to who will be the man to beat come Sunday.