The Goose was almost cooked

A PROBLEM often associated with hosting the Nedbank Golf Challenge at this particular time of the year is the threat of lightning in the Pilanesberg area.

A PROBLEM often associated with hosting the Nedbank Golf Challenge at this particular time of the year is the threat of lightning in the Pilanesberg area.

Often the tropical storms will hit late in the day, causing sauna-like conditions. For South Africa's Retief Goosen, lightning is all too familiar.

Growing up in Polokwane, the young Goosen used to hone his game at the Pietersburg Golf Club.

As a 15-year-old he was already displaying impressive skills, but on one particular afternoon he got more than he bargained for.

Playing a two-ball the young Goosen was struck by lightning while attempting to finish a round in stormy weather.

A friend who was at the scene, Henri Potgieter, later told Golf World magazine: "His tongue was down his throat and his eyes were backward, and he was breathing weird. He had no clothes on; they'd been burned from his body.

"I remember picking up his spectacles. I didn't know what to do. It looked like he was dead. I was screaming for help."

As for Goosen, he still cannot recall his near-death experience, but one thing is for sure, any sign of lightning over the next four days at the Gary Player Country Club and Goosen will be making a hasty run for the clubhouse.

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