Johnson Goydos lead the way at Pebble Beach

By Doug FergusonFebruary 14, 2010, 4:17 am
2007 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Dustin Johnson is powering his away around the Monterey Peninsula. Paul Goydos is poking along. Two golfers who couldn’t be any more different were tied for the lead Saturday in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Johnson reached the 595-yard opening hole at Spyglass Hill with a hybrid and made a 20-foot eagle from the fringe to send him on his way to an 8-under 64, despite a three-putt bogey on his final hole.

Goydos reached the 513-yard second hole with a 3-wood and made an 8-foot eagle putt, then birdied two of the final three holes for a 64 at Pebble Beach.

They were at 18-under 196 and were four shots clear of anyone else.

Johnson is leading the field this week in driving distance at 310.7 yards. Goydos, who is averaging 262.7 yards off the tee, was asked if he would just ignore Johnson’s power off the tee.

“No, I fully panic,” Goydos said. “You know, it is what it is. I don’t know if ‘ignore’ is the right word, but you appreciate. I’m going to appreciate his play, but you go out and play your game, too. I have do things differently than he does, and he’s got to do things differently than I do.”

J.B. Holmes and Bryce Molder each had a 68 at Spyglass Hill, while Matt Jones had a 66 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula. They were tied for third at 14-under 200.

David Duval had a 67 and was tied for seventh. Phil Mickelson had a 69 at Pebble Beach and was eight shots out of the lead.

The biggest star Saturday was the weather, some of the most spectacular conditions this tournament has seen in years. Along the coast of Pebble Beach, huge swells crashed against the rocks and the sea wall.

“The ocean was angry today,” Goydos said. “What they’ve got here is God’s gift to golf.”

Goydos’ game isn’t always so pretty, although there is no disputing how he reached the top of the leaderboard. On the par-5 sixth hole, his second shot from the rough barely cleared the hill and nearly went into a bunker. With an awkward stance, he did well to get it on the green. And after a two-putt par, he said to his partners, “That never looked like it was going to be better than a 5.”

One hole later, with a stiff ocean breeze at his back and a downhill shot to a green 97 yards away, he hit sand wedge to 2 feet.

Over at Spyglass, traditionally the toughest course on the rotation, Johnson was wailing away. The defending champion had two eagles and played the par 5s in 6 under, and he had a chance at the course record of 62 until charging his birdie putt past the hole and missing the comeback putt for par.

“Length is not an issue,” Johnson said. “Doesn’t play very long for me. If I’m hitting it in the fairway, then it definitely plays right into my hands, because I can get to all the par 5s there.”

Asked which courses plays long for him, Johnson said with a fixed smile, “Not too many of ‘em.”

On this glorious day with a stiff breeze, Spyglass was the place to be. Pebble Beach and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, a par 70 and newcomer to the rotation, are exposed along the ocean. Except for five holes, Spyglass is sheltered by pines and cypress.

Johnson and Goydos couldn’t recall playing with each other before, and even if they did, it’s not like they would have been together given the difference in their tee shots.

But as much as Goydos appreciates the power, Johnson appreciates how Goydos can score.

“His game is definitely a little bit different than mind, and he finds a way to get it done,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t matter how far you hit it or where you hit it. You’ve just got to find a way to get it in the hole. Whoever can get it in the hole tomorrow is going to come out with the victory.”

Few players are more self-deprecating than Goydos, notable among other quotes for once saying, “Tiger is trying to win 18 majors. I’m trying to play in 18 majors.”

But he did well to hold his own when asked if Johnson was a better player as they head into the final round.

“He’s won twice in two years. I’ve won twice in 18,” Goydos said. “‘Better’ is an interesting word. He’s definitely off to a much better start than I had. There’s a slight curve because I’ve been out so long. So if he’d won 10 times after 18 years, the answer is ‘yes.’ But right now? I don’t know.”

Then he paused before adding, “He’s definitely showing signs of it.”

Divots: Goydos and Hertz executive Bob Stuart had a one-shot lead in the pro-am competition. The top 25 teams advanced to the final round Sunday. … Johnson or Goydos only need to break par on Sunday to break the 72-hole scoring record of 268, first set by Mark O’Meara in 1997 and matched by Phil Mickelson in 2007.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


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And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


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In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.