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Retief Goosen says he needs to get his driver under control. (Photo: Getty Images)
Retief Goosen says he needs to get his driver under control. (Photo: Getty Images)

Goosen arrives at Hoylake in need of some confidence

Despite being a two-time U.S. Open champion, Retief Goosen describes the state of his game as rubbish. He's worried about his lack of accuracy both off the tee and into the greens, but hopes some thorough practice sessions will pay off.

HOYLAKE, England (AP) -- Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen says he is lacking confidence heading into this week's Open Championship. That's despite finishing with a 4-under-par 67 at the Barclays Scottish Open on Sunday.

Goosen took three from the rough beside the final pin for a bogey 5 at Loch Lomond to finish inside the top 20 ahead of the Open at Royal Liverpool.

"My game has been rubbish," he said. "I'm not going in there with the confidence I'd like to be going in with. I'm missing a lot of fairways, missing a lot of greens. But I'm grinding it out and hopefully things will turn my way soon."

The 37-year-old South African has been struggling to find his form for several weeks, missing the halfway cut in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot last month after rounds of 77 and 78.

"I'm still struggling, but I'm working hard. I'm still leaving a lot of wild shots out there," he said. "My game's still a bit scrambly."

But there are some positives for Goosen.

"At least [Sunday] I made a few putts, which was nice," he said. "And my short game has been pretty good. I've chipped pretty well and had a lot of up and downs, which is good for this week."

He had his first look on Monday afternoon at the Royal Liverpool course at Hoylake, which has not staged the Open since 1967.

"I've heard good things about it," he said. "I like the British Open. Like I say, I just need to start driving a little better.

"Tiger [Woods] and Phil [Mickelson] are guys you have to look for. They're playing well," he said. "But it's nice seeing and playing a course nobody has played. You don't really know who has an advantage."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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