Six-time International player Retief Goosen on why the Presidents Cup has been so one-sided ahead of the matches at Royal Melbourne
Retief Goosen is one of many rest-of-the-world superstars who have never tasted victory in a 12-man team environment. The South African played in six Presidents Cup matches, spanning from 2000-2011, and despite having a winning record himself (14-12-3), he never got closer than a tie in 2003.
In his time he claimed the scalps of Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar in the singles, the last of which came at the venue for this year, Royal Melbourne.
“It’s a semi links so the weather will play a big role and if the wind blows then it’s a hard course to get the ball close on those greens. And they’re the sort of greens that I like with big breaks and very break,” said the Rolex testimonee.
The South African, who turned 50 in February before finishing third on the Schwab Cup money list, was still plying his trade on the European Tour when the Internationals claimed their sole Presidents Cup victory in 12 attempts and, like every golf fan outside the United States, he’d love to see the competition brought to life.
“This is the place that we won at so it’s a happy hunting ground but since then it’s not been great. We’ve had our chances and didn’t take them and it would be good for the Presidents Cup if the International team were to win again.
“It sort of feels like it’s going the way the Ryder Cup used to go before Europe started winning it from the 80s onwards and then it became this great battle – and it feels like we need the Internationals to pull it off to in a way save the competition. I think a lot of people see it as is there really anything to play for now?”
- The one time the Internationals claimed victory
- How a kid from Chile made the team
- Meet the International side
Even given the Americans’ strength in depth and the powerhouses of Tiger and co it still remains a small mystery that they have been quite so dominant.
“Early on going by the world rankings we had the stronger side but for some reason we just didn’t blend well enough with the different nationalities and players not really knowing each other. Meanwhile the Americans play matchplay every year and it’s pretty much the same team as the Ryder Cup so they have a good feel of who to put together.”
Goosen himself had 12 different partners in his six matches.
And how does he look back on that nearest miss in 2003 when this year’s captains Ernie Els and Woods tied three extra holes before darkness brought an end to proceedings at Fancourt in Goosen’s homeland?
“That was definitely my best memory, that was great to play one in my home country and it was such a shame that we didn’t win it. But it was such a great ending to call it a tie and not carry on in the dark or come back in the morning.
“For the good of the game it was great to just celebrate that both teams were equal.”
Retief Goosen was speaking as a Testimonee for Rolex.