Mr Comeback Goydos Wins Sony Open

By Sports NetworkJanuary 14, 2007, 5:00 pm
2006 Sony OpenHONOLULU -- With all of the talk all week about the young players in the Sony Open in Hawaii, it was a 42-year-old journeyman who has battled injuries throughout his career that hoisted the trophy on Sunday.

Paul Goydos
Paul Goydos' last win on TOUR came in 1996 at Bay Hill.
Paul Goydos birdied three of his last four holes in the final round to shoot a 3-under 67 and win at 14-under-par 266. It was good for a one-shot win over third-round leader Charles Howell III (70) and the world's 10th-ranked player, Luke Donald (69).

It came down to the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club. Goydos and Howell were tied at 13 under par with Donald one back when Goydos played his second shot one group ahead of the 20-somethings.

Goydos' second rolled 30 feet short of the surface and his chip hit the stick and stopped 2 feet from the hole. He tapped in and waited to see if either Howell or Donald could force a playoff.

Both found the right rough off the tee, but both got their second shots close to the green, but not on the putting surface. Donald also hit the stick with his chip from right of the green and left himself a tap-in birdie to finish one behind Goydos.

That left it up to Howell, the 2001 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, who has only won once on TOUR. He was nearly in the same spot as Goydos a few minutes before him, but he hit his chip too hard and his ball ran 16 feet past the stick.

Howell's putt never threatened the hole and he left with a par.

That gave Goydos his second PGA TOUR victory. His only other win came at the 1996 event at Bay Hill, but the 11-year gap did not matter to a man who has lost his card several times in between wins.

'I do try to win every decade,' joked Goydos, who pocketed $936,000 for the victory. 'That chip shot at 18 could have gone where Charles' did.'

This is a remarkable story for Goydos.

He tied for second in last year's final full-field event, the Chrysler Championship, and the pay day moved him from 160th on the money list inside the top-125 to 97th.

Goydos underwent sinus surgery and hip surgery in 2004. He also dabbled as a substitute teacher while perfecting his craft on the Nationwide Tour in the early '90s.

'This is my job,' admitted Goydos. 'I really don't have any other skills. I'm a little numb. I didn't pay much attention all day. I'm stunned. That's the word I'd use.'

Tadd Fujikawa, the 16-year-old amateur, who became the second-youngest player to make a cut on the PGA TOUR, crashed a bit on Sunday. The local hero, who has produced huge galleries, struggled to a 2-over 72 and tied for 20th place at 5-under-par 275.

Still, the 16-year-old, who upstaged fellow high-schooler Michelle Wie this week, took everything from this week as a positive.

'It's been great. It's unbelievable,' acknowledged the 5-foot-1 Fujikawa, who qualified for last year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot. 'It's the best feeling in the world. It's not something you do everyday. In years to come, I'll be back here.'

World No. 2 Jim Furyk (69), Doug LaBelle II (65), K.J. Choi (68) and reigning PGA TOUR Comeback Player of the Year Steve Stricker (70) shared fourth place at minus-9.

For most of the final round, it appeared to be a two-horse race between Howell and Donald. When Howell converted a 14-foot eagle putt at the ninth, he moved two clear of Donald, with Goydos nowhere in the picture.

Howell fell apart from there. He could not get the ball in the fairway at the 12th and missed a 17-footer for par. One hole later, Howell went from the left rough to the right rough and recorded another bogey. He was still one ahead, but it was now in front of Goydos.

Goydos was 1 under after an eight-foot birdie putt at the 12th, but was three down. He holed an 11-foot par putt at 14 and thanks to Howell's miscues, was only one down.

Goydos ran home a 25-foot birdie putt at the 15th to move into a tie for the lead. At the 16th, he rolled in a 16-footer for birdie and found himself one ahead of Howell.

That lead was short-lived as Goydos' tee ball at the par-3 17th rolled into a back bunker. He blasted out to 12 feet, but missed and fell back into a tie for the lead.

Howell made a great par save at 16, then also found sand at 17 and, like Goydos, got up and down. Unfortunately, Howell could not duplicate Goydos' success at 18 and is left with another runner-up finish.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy had a nice Sunday. He fired a 6-under 64 and tied for eighth place with Robert Allenby, who shot a final-round 69, at 8-under-par 272.

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    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x