Goosen turned professional in October 1990, following a win in the South African Amateur Championship of the same year in July. He was medalist at the European Tour’s Qualifying School in 1992, and enjoyed success on the Tour between 1992 and 2000, but it was not until 2001 that he made his name in America, with a U.S. Open win on a very tough Southern Hills Country Club golf course.
He nearly lost his chance at victory after three putting from 12 feet, missing a two-foot put on the final green, but managed to recover to make a playoff with the 1996 PGA Championship winner Mark Brooks. Goosen dominated the next day’s 18-hole playoff, eventually winning by two strokes.
Later that summer, he completed his second wire-to-wire victory of the year at The Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. He finished 2001 with three wins, 11 top-tens, and the European Tour Order of Merit, which he won again in 2002.
After his third win of the 2001 season, he rose to a career-high 11th in the world ranking. In 2002, he won on both the PGA Tour and European Tour for a second straight year, a feat that would last for three more years.
He won a second U.S. Open in 2004, where he had 11 one-putts in the final round at a very demanding Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. He then rose to his career high world ranking of 3rd.