Goydos Holding His Own

By Rex HoggardFebruary 7, 2009, 5:00 pm
2006 Buick InvitationalSAN DIEGO ' The Dirtbag hat may be retired, the iconic status the sweat-stained lid came to represent during last years Players Championship is not.
In one corner: Camilo Villegas, an A frame heir to the superman cloak if Tiger Woods ever becomes weary with the top rung. And in the other corner: Paul Goydos, the Tours original dirtbag and the games quintessential everyman.
Paul Goydos
Paul Goydos lines up a putt during Round 3 of the Buick Invitational. (Getty Images)
Both ends of the Tours physical spectrum will be pressed to run down John Rollins on Sunday at the Buick Invitational, but for Goydos just being listed among Saturdays leaders was a victory by any measure.
Goydos grinded out a third-round 72 on a golf course he openly admits is too much for his 44-year-old frame. But then there would have been no way of knowing what Goydos was cooking up on his scorecard had it not been for the walking standard in his group.
During a particularly unsteady run late in his third round, Goydos recorded four bogeys, three birdies and two pars over his final nine holes, but his gaze remained unchanged, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets and his shoulders slumped in signature fashion.
Hes 12 under on the South Course, Goydos reasoned when asked about Rollins lead. I dont know what you want me to do.
When a reporter likened Goydos to Rocco Mediate, the surprise undercard at last summers Torrey Pines Open, Goydos didnt miss an opening, Thats an insult to Rocco, he smiled.
Goydos self-deprecating ways often masks stellar play, particularly from one of the games shortest hitters on one of the Tours longest courses. And his play this week is likely masking the emotional loss of his ex-wife.
Goydos learned of his ex-wifes death when he was returning home from the Sony Open. A single father who missed nearly all of the 2004 season to be at home with his two daughters, Goydos has declined to publically speak about his ex-wifes death. Simply put, hes not there yet.
But it is clear that the Buick, Goydos first event since the Sony, has provided him with an outlet: I play golf. I enjoy playing golf. It's what I do. I do it when I'm home, I do it when I'm out on Tour, I do it at Christmas if I can. It's what I do.
His solid play, however, is something altogether different. If his 2008 Sawgrass surprise was viewed as an exception to the rule, those closest to the well-traveled Tour pro envisioned a season outside the norm in 2009.
Goydos spent the offseason back home at Long Beachs Virginia Country Club playing regular games with the other members of the VCC Tour stable: John Cook, John Merrick, John Mallinger and rookie Peter Tomasulo.
While the youthful threesome embraced the chance to play with two veterans, it was Goydos who seemed to draw something extra from the mini-camp.
I think the boys really helped invigorate him, said Jamie Mulligan, VCCs director of golf and the groups swing coach. Look at how good (Mark) OMeara played when Tiger influenced him.
Goydos, a former high school teacher, took a predictably scholarly approach to the offseason proceedings.
They're better than me. I mean, I need to talk to them more than anything else, Goydos said. When they're 17-year veterans, they won't be talking about me too much.
Goydos hasnt played the Buick since 2003, in part because of the Rees Jones redesign, but watched last years U.S. Open and was inspired to return. Given the emotional toll of the last few weeks, his play at Torrey Pines has been inspiring but not surprising to those who know him.
Hes a special cat, Mulligan said. Hes really gracious to be able to play pro golf and you can tell that.
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard ' Buick Invitational
  • Full Coverage ' Buick Invitational
  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.