Paul 'Mr.59' Goydos and Steve Stricker set records

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Paul 'Mr.59' Goydos and Steve Stricker set records
Paul Goydos is one of four golfers in PGA Tour history to shoot a 59 at the TCP Deere Run.

Goydos had an excellent day at the John Deere Classic in Silvis Illinois yesterday. He walked away with 12-under and no bogeys. Goydos made the turn at four-under and got birdies on every hole but one. To cap the day, Goydos putted a seven-foot birdie on the par-four 18th hole.

“It’s almost a mythical number in out game,” said Goydos, and raised his club to the roar of the crowd, receiving high fives all the way back to the club.

David Duval was the last person to score 59 on the tour. Al Geiberger scored 59 in 1977 as did Chip Beck in 1991. Duval was playing in the 1999 Bob Hope Classic and is also a participant in this year’s John Deere Classic, teeing off in the afternoon.

“Standing over that last putt, I was probably as nervous as I’ve ever been over a putt in my life,” Goydos admitted. Just like the other putts Goydos’ made today with his cross-handed grip, the final one rolled right into the middle of the cup.

Defending champion Steve Stricker shot a 60. Although he missed his chance to tie with Goydos on the last hole, the two scores set records as the lowest ever in a single round at the PGA event.

“The course is ripe for scoring,” said Stricker.

Goydos drained putts of 39 feet on the par-four 11th hole, and one from 25 feet on the par-four 13th. His tee shot off the 12th hole got him 20 feet inside; he tapped the ball and watched it slowly make its way into the cup. All in all he had a great day.

“Gravity is the best friend I have,” he joked to playing partners Jonathan Byrd and Cliff Kresge.

Due to the damp greens the “lift, clean and place” rules were in effect, but Goydos benefited from them greatly. An interesting fact to note is Geiberger shot his 59 under the same rule conditions.

Goydos’ good game came as a surprise to everyone. He hadn’t won a tournament since the 2007 Sony Open, and had an embarrassing nine on the 14th hole the AT&T National. To his benefit Goydos did earn two top ten finishes in events this year, but is ranked 139th in the world. He has been on the tour since 1989.

“I’ve been very good at playing poorly now for the last 10 tournaments or so...since the nine. There’s two things that are going to stand out right now this year. That’s the nine and the 59.”

Goydos' eight-under 28 on the back nine was the lowest nine hole score in relation to par in PGA history. He took a total of 22 putts on the par 71 TCP Deere Run course, which stretches 7268 yards.

“I’ve gone from clubbing a ball in the backyard all the way to the moon, and missed all the steps in between,” Goydos said.

The 46-year-old is nicknamed ‘sunshine’ by his friends, an ironic reference to his general pessimistic opinion of his game. Goyder is from Long Beach California.

Goydos turned pro in 1989 when he joined the Tour, and had been a struggling mini golf and substitute teacher. Through his entire career Goydos has over 40 top-10 finishes and made more than $10 million in career earnings. His best finish was in 1999 at the US Open where he was T-12.

Goydos was not a favourite for the John Deere Classic or a big name before today. The record will look good on his resume but does Goydos have what it takes to win the competition?

The John Deere Classic will conclude on Sunday.



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