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Retief Goosen British Open Press Conference Transcript

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STEWART McDOUGAL: We have Retief Goosen. Thank you for coming across. You played in '92. Can you just tell us, has the course changed and you feel playing the championship again now after 10 years.
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, I don't think the course has changed at all. It's pretty much the way it was. They've lengthened a couple of par 3s. So I think the Par 3s are quite a bit tougher than they were in the past. I think the Par 3s are going to be key holes out there this week, especially the bunkers around the Par 3s are probably the worst on the whole course. I think you can pretty much make par over the whole week.
 
Q. On tour during the year you're playing inland courses. When you come to a links course is it more fun to play(inaudible)?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, I think so. Obviously the course is not as hard as it can be. With all the rain they've had, the fairways aren't running as fast as they normally can. The greens are very good. They still are a little bit slow. But I think with the rain and drizzle we've had, there is quite a bit of sand on the greens and it picks up quite a bit of sand and it slows them down a little. The greens are firm. They definitely are not soft at all, but everybody is very happy with the course. They haven't gone over the top or anything, like the (inaudible) at Carnoustie or some of the other courses, but generally it's in great shape and everybody is very happy. There's going to be a lot of players this week that think they can win or give themselves a good chance.
 
Q. Do you have a strategy for tomorrow or is it a question of seeing what the weather is like?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: You have to see what the weather is like. At the moment there is hardly any wind so it does make it a lot easier, although it's quite cold, the ball is not going along way, so some of the holes are playing quite long. You have got to see what the wind does to see what kind of strategy you'll play with.
 
Q. What are your expectations over the next couple of days?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm looking forward to doing well for a change again. I've not been playing so well the last couple of months, but I just need to start making a few putts. Once you start making a few putts, some of the shots out there are a lot easier. You can go at more flags and still manage par. But if you're not putting so well, everything seems a little more difficult. Once I get making a few putts again, get the ball rolling, then your confidence gets up as well.
 
Q. Do you enjoy an event like this now or is there still too much pressure to perform?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm really looking forward to the rest of the week. It's a great course. I feel like I can do well around here. I think I'm sort of getting used to the pressure now. I will just treat it like a normal tournament. You still have to hit the same shots and play the same golf and see what happens.
 
Q. You've always had an excellent record. St. Andrews was played in October and usually in quite bad weather. Does the wind eliminate a lot of the field?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: I think a lot of players would like to see a little bit more wind. It would sort of bring the better ball striking guys out and instead somebody -- if there is no wind and you're not hitting well, you can still manage to get it around. I think a better wind would really bring the best players out, so I'm looking forward to it. Obviously, I play a lot of links golf, obviously at St. Andrews and so on, so maybe a bit of that experience can help me this week.
 
Q. Do you feel you can go out and attack, or is it more going to be a case of sort of stay there or thereabouts until the end (inaudible)?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: There are some holes you feel like you can attack. There are few holes on the course when you stand on the tee it just looks like there is nothing out there, the 1st hole and the 10th hole, especially, and the 9th, those are holes that feels like there's not much out there to try and aim at but the rest of the course is set up generously. If you lay back (inaudible) you give yourself a longer second shot, but if you hit a driver into the narrow areas or a (inaudible) you get rewarded with a shorter shot into the green. So the course is really how you feel and how your game is. If you play really well, it feels like you can just hit anything out there.
 
Q. How do you feel right now? Do you feel the driver may come out?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: I don't think the driver will come out as much here as it was at the U.S. Open. It's not playing nearly as long, obviously, but once the wind starts blowing you're going to have no choice on some of the holes but to bring out the driver.
 
Q. How do you feel about leaving the courses the way they are rather than trying to lengthen them?
 
RETIEF GOOSEN: Yes, I think everybody is sort of tired of every course getting lengthened and adding 500 yards or something. I think courses should just stay the way it is. The game is here to made birdies. If it's really bad weather, they won't make birdies. I think that's what we saw at the U.S. Open. The weather wasn't good. The guys couldn't reach the fairways. At the end, this is the way it is, and when we have windy conditions, the score is going to be high. If we don't, it's going to be low. I think they should leave it the way it is. People come out to see some birdies and see some good golf, not to see guys chopping around making 9s and 10s.
 
STEWART McDOUGAL: Retief, thank you very much.

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