Early start suits Retief

Retief Goosen will tee up early on Thursday morning for round one of the CIMB Classic, where he’ll look for his second top-five finish of the 2015 season.


The Goose was full of smiles a fortnight ago when he shot a Sunday 70 to tie for third at the Fry.com Open, which marked the start of the new PGA Tour season. He showed no signs of back trouble and included a Saturday 66 to his 12-under-par tally for the week.


The setting is very different for the CIMB Classic, which is co-sanctioned between the Asian and PGA Tours. The tournament plays out in Malaysia, where the heat and humidity are similar to the Polokwane summers that Goosen enjoyed when he grew up.


The field is peppered with South Africans: Rory Sabbatini, Charl Schwartzel, Tim Clark, and Trevor Immelman will all be in the mix. And then Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge also heads for Kuala Lumpur this week on the back of a playoff loss at The McGladrey Classic last week.


For Goosen the week will be about finding consistent form now that his back has recovered. His tied-third start to the season was impressive, but he needs to back it up with some more results. 


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