Ascension Charity Classic

Friday, September 8, 2023

St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Norwood Hills Country Club

Retief Goosen

Quick Quotes

Q. What are your impressions of your round today?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I played pretty nicely all day long except the last few holes was a bit scruffy. The course is in wonderful condition and conditions are great. I got off to a great start, holed a long putt on 3 from probably 40 feet, so that sort of got the going round.

Q. As you look forward to the next couple days, anything that stands out that you need to work on to get ready for those two rounds?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Probably hit a few more fairways. The last five holes was not pretty. I'm going to go and hit a few on the range quickly and try and straighten that out.

Q. Did you derive any inspiration watching the U.S. Open tennis a few days ago?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I've always gone to Wimbledon, so it was the first time for me in New York. The Rolex people invited me, and I was able to stay for about 11 hours watching tennis, so many matches. It's nice to see how those guys grind it out, and it was hot. I take my hat off to them, running around that court for hours. Those guys are pretty fit.

But it was a great experience, and looking forward to getting back there.

Q. Obviously a lot of golf left, but atop the leaderboard right now. You've got to like where you stand at the end of round 1. Biggest takeaways from today?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Got off to a great start, birdieing the first three holes, then made a stupid bogey on I think it was 5, and managed to get birdies on 8 and 9. Through 11 holes, I was pretty comfortable.

Then I started hitting a few wild shots coming in, a lot of fairways missed. I'll go and work on the driving for a little bit now, hit a few balls, and just try and find some good rhythm.

Q. New 3-wood, new ball in the bag. Why the changes?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Well, the ball is not really new. It's been around for a while, the Chrome Soft Dot. I just felt it's just a tiny bit softer than the X. I just like the feel maybe a little better on it coming off the club face, but you still have to make a good swing to make it go straight.

Yeah, new 3-wood in the bag. Still considering if I should put the old one back in or not. But the putting was nice today. Made a few good putts.

Just got to hit the fairways. Coming out of the rough here is quite tricky. You can get fliers and it's not easy to hole.

Q. How about the gallery and crowds and the conditions of the course itself?

RETIEF GOOSEN: The course is beautiful. As good as I've seen it. The weather is even better. I can't complain about the weather. The scoring was low today, and it's looking fairly good for the next two days, too.

It's going to be some exciting golf out there for the people to come and watch.

Q. I'm doing a story about unusual conversations with the headphones or walkie-talkies at a Presidents Cup, if you've ever experienced that.


Q. Maybe somebody was trying to order pizza or something at the same time --

RETIEF GOOSEN: Not during the time I was playing. I didn't notice anything like that in my -- there was always, if you needed some fruit or something, you'd just tell whoever is walking with you to get you some. But nothing weird really, no.

Q. What about just from a strategic standpoint, how important is that, the headphones and stuff? Does it actually come into play often as far as strategy?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I'm sure it does in certain matches. If somebody has seen a putt break a certain way, they can get the guys behind, get in the headset, it's breaking more than it looks, and I think the captain is allowed to speak to the players and give advice, so it can make a big difference having a little bit of extra help out there, knowing that a putt might break more than it looks.

Q. You haven't played that much this summer; that's unusual for you, isn't it?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Yeah, I haven't played much. A couple events or so in the last few months. But I've had a good time off. It was sort of a bit of a forced time off, but I'm looking forward to now this final run this season of great golf courses coming up, and hopefully get some game going.

Q. What did you think of the tennis the other night?

RETIEF GOOSEN: The tennis is wonderful. It's great to see those young kids running around that court. We probably watched a good five matches, Alcaraz being the top match we watched. Djokovic wasn't playing that day. We've always loved watching tennis, so we'll be turning it on tonight and watching it a little bit, the matches.

Q. Did you watch last night?

RETIEF GOOSEN: I eventually fell asleep, but I heard there was some things going on.

Q. How about the Rugby World Cup?

RETIEF GOOSEN: Would love to, yeah. The time change is always difficult, and trying to find somewhere here that it will be broadcast is not going to be easy, so you're going to have to -- tape delay and keep your ears shut so you don't hear anything and watch it in the morning.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
136584-1-1002 2023-09-08 20:12:00 GMT

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