Goosen posts Final Round 66, finishes T3 in return to Southern Hills
Twenty years after Retief Goosen captured his first-ever major championship at Southern Hills Country Club, he pushed through Sunday, late at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, with a chance to win another one.
Although the 2001 U.S. Open winner fell short of Alex Cejka’s winning total, Goosen’s 4-under 66 in the final round moved him up five spots on the leaderboard. He finished tied for third alongside K.J. Choi.
“It’s obviously always great coming back here,” said Goosen.
He said with the golf course firming up for Sunday he “loved” how Southern Hills played, and that was evident in his score. He admitted he wasn’t 100 percent confident with his approach to the greens because of the wet weather that had moved through Tulsa earlier in the Championship but he putted much better on Sunday due to the consistency, he said.
The two-time major winner (Goosen would go on to win another U.S. Open in 2004) started the final round making back-to-back birdies. He bogeyed the par-5 5th but added two more birdies on No’s 7 and 9 plus back-to-back birdies on No’s 16-17.
Although he closed with a disappointing bogey, he said he had a ton of confidence in his swing this week versus earlier in 2021.
“I would have liked to have been more in contention, really, but I'm feeling like my swing is getting a little better now that we're getting into the swing of the season,” said Goosen. “So, I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks and hopefully I can pull out a win.”
Twenty years after his maiden major championship title, Goosen said there were a lot of changes to the golf course from 2001 – as the course went under a big renovation completed in 2019 – and Goosen, who was first in Driving Distance for the Championship, said the course was “made for bombers.” The best golfers in the world will take on Southern Hills next year for the PGA Championship.
Goosen, who also finished tied for 23rd at the 2007 PGA Championship at Southern Hills, said he wasn’t quite sure why he plays so well at this Tulsa jewel, but he tried to put his finger on it on Sunday.
“I like the feel of it, the elevations, you always need to work something into the green or off the tee box and it's not just an open field and off you go. I love the greens,” said Goosen. “I struggled on the greens this week with the speed (but) I like these greens that have a lot of breaks and stuff like that."
“I don't know when there's another event back here, but otherwise I'll probably come and play when I'm 80 one day.”
And certainly Southern Hills would be happy to have one of its major champions back whenever he would like.