New putter puts Goosen on top
Retief Goosen was left wishing he had changed putters a week ago after he rolled in eight birdies in Munich on Thursday.
Retief Goosen was left wishing he had changed putters a week ago after he rolled in eight birdies to take the first-round lead at the BMW International Open in Munich today.
“It would have been nice to make them at the US Open – I holed nothing there,” said the 40-year-old South African after a 64 put him two in front of England’s Richard Finch.
Goosen, 16th at Bethpage Black on Monday, added: “I tested a new putter in the pro-am here and it felt sort of good, so I decided to give it a try.”
Two birdies in the first three holes proved to him it was a good move and after picking up further strokes at the sixth, ninth and 13th he finished with three more.
The last one had a touch of good fortune, though. His approach to the par five squirted right and might have found water but for clattering into a television tower.
The twice US Open champion is seeking his first European Tour victory for more than two years, but in the past eight months has tasted victory in Asia, Africa and America.
Conditions were as muddy underfoot as they were in New York and one particularly bad shower forced play to be suspended for a while.
As a late starter Goosen avoided that, but being caught in it did not bother Finch – and nor should it have after what happened at the Irish Open last year.
The Hull golfer famously won at Adare Manor after falling in the river playing a shot on the final hole.
This time he returned to eagle the sixth, his 15th, and birdie two of the next three.
In the group three behind was Welshman Phillip Price and following David Duval’s showing in the US Open perhaps this is going to be the week of the big comebacks in golf.
Three days after world No 882 Duval finished joint runner-up, former Ryder Cup hero Price, down at a lowly 981st in the rankings, began the BMW International Open in Munich with a 67.
The 42-year-old’s best round for more than two years gives him the chance to rescue his European Tour career with one good performance.
Best remembered for beating Phil Mickelson in a vital singles of the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in 2002, Price had to rely on his career earnings of more than £4million to remain a member of the circuit at the end of last year.
But he has added little more than £10,000 in 13 starts this season, making only four halfway cuts, and could drop out of the top 40 all-time money winners.
Without a win since the 2003 European Open Price moved to the US Tour two years later, but told PA Sport today: “I lost my way probably.
“You have to try things, but it didn’t work out. I came back, my wife and I had another baby and I lost the zest for Tour life a bit.
“It’s been a struggle for three years and it got very depressing. It’s a tough environment and I stopped making the effort for a while, but I’m trying hard now to turn it around.”
England’s Danny Willett and David Lynn are also five under, as is 1999 Ryder Cup team member Andrew Coltart. The Scot has had to go back to the Tour qualifying school the last few years and although he won a card last November it does not guarantee him a start every week.
He spent Monday and Tuesday trying to qualify for next week’s French Open. After not coming close he was delighted to hit back in the way he did.
ALL THE FIRST ROUND SCORES
(Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72)
64 Retief Goosen (Rsa)
66 Richard Finch
67 James Kingston (Rsa), Phillip Price, Andrew Coltart, Maarten Lafeber (Ned), Danny Willett, David Lynn, Niclas Fasth (Swe), Gregory Bourdy (Fra), Marcus Fraser (Aus)
68 Bernhard Langer (Ger), Soren Kjeldsen (Den), Alvaro Velasco (Spa), Jarmo Sandelin (Swe), Rafael Echenique (Arg), Oliver Fisher, Stephen Dodd, Paul McGinley, Barry Lane, Thomas Levet (Fra), Henrik Stenson (Swe)
69 Robert Jan Derksen (Ned), Anders Hansen (Den), Branden Grace (Rsa), Peter Lawrie, Kenneth Ferrie, Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Felipe Aguilar (Chi), Matthew Millar (Aus), Markus Brier (Aut), Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa), Nick Dougherty, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind), Paul Broadhurst, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Phillip Archer, Inder Van Weerelt (Ned)
70 Carlos Del Moral (Spa), Gary Orr, Klas Eriksson (Swe), Peter Hedblom (Swe), John Bickerton, Graeme Storm, Anthony Snobeck (Fra), Lee Slattery, Michael Jonzon (Swe), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Rafael Cabrera Bello (Spa), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut), Michael Hoey, Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra), Colin Montgomerie, Scott Strange (Aus), Marcel Siem (Ger), Seve Benson, Daniel Vancsik (Arg), Brett Rumford (Aus), David Drysdale, Luke Donald
71 Damien McGrane, Martin Kaymer (Ger), Pelle Edberg (Swe), Steven O’Hara, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Johan Edfors (Swe), Rory McIlroy, Max Kramer (Aut), Chris Wood, Stuart Davis, Jeppe Huldahl (Den), Shiv Kapur (Ind), Gareth Maybin, Scott Drummond, Mark Brown (Nzl), Gary Murphy, Richard Green (Aus), Tano Goya (Arg), Jean-Francois Lucquin (Fra), Christopher Doak
72 Joakim Haeggman (Swe), Benn Barham, Simon Wakefield, Peter Hanson (Swe), Sven Struver (Ger), Bradley Dredge, Christian Cevaer (Fra), Hennie Otto (Rsa), Alan McLean, David Howell, Paul Waring, Gary Lockerbie, Marcus Higley, Paul Lawrie, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par), Lorenzo Gagli (Ita), Mark Foster, Richard Sterne (Rsa)
73 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe), David Frost (Rsa), Alex Cejka (Ger), Callum Macaulay, Marco Ruiz (Par), Stephen Gallacher, Jorge Campillo (Spa), Stephan jr. Gross (Ger), Ashun Wu (Chn), Oskar Henningsson (Swe), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind)
74 Mikael Lundberg (Swe), Thomas Aiken (Rsa), Michael Lorenzo-Vera (Fra), Federico Cabrera (Arg), Tino Schuster (Ger), Robert Dinwiddie, Florian Fritsch (Ger), Anthony Wall, John Daly (USA), Taco Remkes (Ned), Shane Lowry, Alejandro Canizares (Spa), Marcel Haremza (Ger), Sam Little, Peter Fowler (Aus)
75 Richard Bland, Richie Ramsay, Daniel Froreich (Ger), Francois Delamontagne (Fra), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg), Wil Besseling (Ned), John E Morgan, Marc Warren, Richard Porter (Ger), Ignacio Garrido (Spa), Pablo Martin (Spa), Peter O’Malley (Aus)
76 Anthony Kang (USA), Martin Erlandsson (Swe), Alastair Forsyth, Chapchai Nirat (Tha), Miles Tunnicliff, Gregory Havret (Fra)
77 Anton Haig (Rsa), Alessandro Tadini (Ita), Matjaz Gojcic (Slo), Mikko Ilonen (Fin), Michael Curtain (Aus), Ben Parker, Mads Vibe-Hastrup (Den), Jose Manuel Lara (Spa)
79 Ake Nilsson (Rsa)
80 Marc Farry (Fra)
82 Martin Keskari (Ger)
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