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Retief Goosen Biography

Lightning Strikes, The European Tour, The U.s. Open, Chronology, Awards And Accomplishments


South African golfer

Golfer Retief Goosen's self-doubt would keep him in the shadows of fellow South African and friendly rival Ernie Els for many years. Playing primarily on the European Tour, Goosen enjoyed a quiet and mildly successful career while his friend Els competed with golf's superstars on the U.S. Tour. That would all change when Goosen, without much fanfare, won the 2001 U.S. Open and then proceeded to win five international titles in the following ten months. Although he continues in relative anonymity, his recent success allows him to do so without a doubt of his ability to compete with golf's giants.

Born February 2, 1969, in Pietersburg, South Africa, Goosen's father, a real estate agent, was an amateur golfer who introduced his son to the game at an early age. Goosen soon inherited his father's passion for the game. Beyond the realm of normal encouragement, his father pushed his son towards excellence—even going as far as to create a wooden contraption to ensure that his son kept his head still while swinging the club. By the time he was seventeen, Goosen was considered one of the top prospects in South African Golf, but not before suffering through a life changing event.

Retief Goosen

Sketch by Aric Karpinski

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Famous Sports StarsGolf