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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    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.

    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open

    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

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    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.

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    Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

    Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

    Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

    It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

    "Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

    Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

    But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

    As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

    The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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    Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

    By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

    Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

    Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

    Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.

    Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open

    "I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

    Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

    Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.