Golf

Goose eyes Africa Open

2010-12-31 20:18
Retief Goosen (File)
East London - Retief Goosen will tee off his 2011 season at the East London Golf Club as one of the biggest stars in the Africa Open.

The double US Open winner, who took the 2009 Africa Open, missed out on his title defence last year to play in the PGA Tour’s season-opening tournament winner’s event in Hawaii, but declared he was ready to start the season on a high note in the Eastern Cape.

“Seeing as I missed last year, I’m coming back as a defending champion of sorts,” he joked.

In 2009, Goosen posted rounds of 66-70-66 and closed with a seven-under-par 65 for a 21-under-par total of 267, beating Darren Clarke, Michael Hoey, Branden Grace and Darren Fichardt to the winner’s circle by one shot.

“I like to start the season in East London. It’s a great tournament and I like the golf course, which is pretty obvious after 2009. It’s a good place to get the season off to a fast start.”

Laid off with injury twice in 2010, Goosen still produced some solid results, including six top-five finishes and 14 top 10s worldwide.

But, although he climbed three places in the official world golf rankings from his 19th place start in January, the Goose has not landed a trophy since winning the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship in 2009.

He came close to avoiding a winless year at the South African Open Championship earlier this month, but was pipped to the post by countryman Ernie Els in the final round.

“I want to get back to the winner’s circle again,” he said. “I came close a couple of times but didn’t win at all this year. It was a consistent year and I had a chance to win quite a few tournaments, but I struggled to put together four good rounds.”

“I had a few top 10 and top five finishes but there was always that one bad round that cost me a victory. My ball striking needs to improve but on the positive side, I began putting nicely.

“That’s why this year was so much better and now I want to get back to winning ways.”

Goosen said he will be coming to East London with a game plan to cope with the wind.

“You have to keep it low there, so I will be making sure I get that right in practice before the tournament,” he said.

“I like the course because it suits my game and I like the wind. They relaid the greens after I won there in 2009 and I’ve heard that they are in great shape, so I’m looking forward to a good week.”

Reigning British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen will make his debut in the Africa Open alongside Goosen and defending champion Charl Schwartzel.

Also joining the battle are European Tour winners Darren Clarke, Ross McGowan, Michael Jonzon, Anthony Kang and James Kingston, rising star Chris Wood, Sunshine Tour stars Branden Grace and James Kamte, as well as Thomas Aiken and Jbe Kruger, who finished second and third respectively last year.

Read more on:    ernie els  |  retief goosen
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Before you embark on a fitness or training programme, set yourself clear and realistic long-term and short-term goals.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.