Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is set to be immortalized in the World Golf Hall of Fame. The South African, who is affectionately called “The Goose,” will be enshrined on June 10 at a ceremony during the week of the 119th U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach.
Joining Goosen in this year’s Hall-of-Fame class are 1983 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jan Stephenson, USGA Bob Jones Award winners Dennis Walters (2018) and the late Peggy Kirk Bell (1990), and former Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne.
“The 2019 Induction class is one of the most well-rounded groups we’ve had to date,” said Jack Peter, president of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “It is our honor and privilege to welcome Peggy Kirk Bell, Retief Goosen, Billy Payne, Jan Stephenson and Dennis Walters to the World Golf Hall of Fame family. We are excited to begin working with them as we gear up for the induction ceremony in Pebble Beach this June.”
The five inductees will bring the total number of World Golf Hall of Fame members to 160.
Goosen, who turns 50 on Feb. 3, claimed his first U.S. Open title in 2001 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., defeating Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff.
“It’s the ultimate trophy to win,” said Goosen of the U.S. Open. “It puts you in another league.”
Three years later, he one-putted 12 greens in the final round to outduel fan favorite Phil Mickelson by two strokes at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. Paired that Sunday with fellow countryman and two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els helped Goosen stay calm and comfortable on what would be a highly challenging day.
“There was the New York crowd, Phil Mickelson in front of you, there was a lot of chirping from behind the ropes,” said Goosen. “And it wasn’t easy to block out. I think playing with Ernie – he’s kind of a calm character out on the golf course – helped a lot. Not playing with Phil in the final round, most of the noise was in front of me. I’m not saying it made it any easier, but mentally-wise, it didn’t.
“It was great playing with Ernie. We had our battles over the years, and it was my turn. Although I was disappointed for him and he was disappointed with his play (final-round 80), he was a great guy to play with to win your second U.S. Open.”
Goosen was in position to win a third U.S. Open title the following year at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club’s Course No. 2, holding a three-stroke lead over qualifiers Olin Browne and Jason Gore, only to shock the golf world with a final-round 80.
One of the more consistent competitors of his era, Goosen sat within the top 10 in the Official Golf Ranking for 250 weeks from 2001-2007. He owns 33 worldwide victories and he was named PGA European Tour Player of the Year in 2001. He also led the European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002 and represented the international team in six consecutive Presidents Cups from 2000-2011.