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Retief Goosen

The U.s. Open

In 2001, Goosen would again play in the U.S. Open, entering the tournament as the 44th ranked golfer in the world. Unknown to the American golf audience, Goosen would have to overcome conventional wisdom and defeat Tiger Woods, who was on a quest for his fifth consecutive major tournament. Woods, however, essentially eliminated himself from the running with an uncharacteristically poor performance. Goosen's victory was nearly foiled by a three putt performance on the final hole of the tournament. Luckily for him, he wasn't the only one having trouble on the green and a similarly poor performance by Stewart Cink left Goosen tied with Mark Brooks. After the 18-hole playoff, held the following day, Goosen had defeated Brooks and his self-doubt to become the winner of the 101st U.S. Open.

Better suited for the slower paced European Tour, Goosen shied from the spotlight and the endorsements that were offered following his win. With a win in the Scottish Open, however, Goosen entered the British Open that season with a chance to become the first golfer since Lee Trevino to win three National Championships in such a short period of time. Although he was unsuccessful in his bid to match Trevino's achievement, Goosen enjoyed a breakout year in 2001 with five international titles in ten months which propelled him from 44th to fourth in the World Ranking.


1969 Born February 2 in Pietersburg, South Africa
1985 Struck by lightning while golfing
1990 Wins South African Amateur tournament
1990 Turns professional
1991 Wins his first tournament on South African tour
1992 Qualifies for European PGA Tour
1996 Wins first European tournament
2000 Finishes tied for twelfth in first U.S. Open
2001 Wins U.S. Open Championship

Awards and Accomplishments

1991 Won Lacor Newcastle Classic
1991 Named South African Rookie of the Year
1992 Won Spoomet, Bushveld, and Witbank Classics
1993 Won Mount Edgecombe Trophy
1995 Won Phillips South African Open
1996 Won Staley Hall Northumberland Challenge
1997 Won Peugeot Open de France
1999 Won Novotgel Perrier Open de France
2000 Won the Trophee Lancome
2001 Won U.S. Open Championship
2001 Won Scottish Open

Although Goosen's career had been overshadowed by fellow South African Ernie Els's success and his own self-doubt, his breakout year in 2001 has allowed him to overcome his lack of confidence and afforded him the opportunity to continue without the nagging need to prove himself on the world's stage. Goosen also began designing his first golf course in 2001 for a new resort planned for Plettenburg Bay, South Africa.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsGolfRetief Goosen Biography - Lightning Strikes, The European Tour, The U.s. Open, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments