Goose could find his way again in Masters

Retief Goosen has won two majors and is one of the dominant players of his generation – and no-one expects him to win the Masters which gets underway on Thursday at Augusta National.

The 42-year-old South African who brings new meaning to the concept of calm in the face of pressure finds himself going into a tournament he’d love to win on a course that should suit his strengths perfectly with no-one mentioning his name as a possible winner.

That stems from the fact that he had a share of 12th in the Northern Trust Open in February in five starts on the US PGA Tour this year, and has done pretty much nothing else outside of that.

But, because he appears so unflappable, he’s almost impossible to read from the outside and he has the ability to find that super-smooth game of his enough to quietly dominate to the extent he has in the past.

And here’s the thing that would make a great Goosen performance at Augusta National this year – a perhaps even a green jacket – unsurprising: in seven of the last 10 Masters, he’s finished in the top 20.

To emphasise how good a run that is in one of the most notoriously difficult of tournaments, four of those seven top-20 finishes are second or third places. He finished second on his own in 2002, shared second in 2007, and shared third in 2005 and 2006.

Goose needs one more major to cement his place alongside the likes of Ernie Els and to be more widely acknowledged as one of the greats of the game.

A win in the Masters this week could even see him be the next South African to make it into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

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