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.
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    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson


    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari


    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

    The second is from Sunday night.

    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

    After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

    Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.

    Updated Official World Golf Ranking

    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

    Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.