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.
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    Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

    Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

    Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

    The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

    In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

    "That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.

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    "I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

    Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

    But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

    "Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

    "He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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    Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

    The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

    Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

    Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

    "I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

    Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.

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    The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

    Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

    Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

    "I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

    "Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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    Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

    By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

    On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

    Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

    What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

    Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

    Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

    Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

    Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

    His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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    McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

    By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

    BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

    They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

    England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

    Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

    Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.