A round with Paul Goydos

April 20, 2017

We’re drinking Stella Artois beer here at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale.

I guess I needed some liquid courage.

A lot of pros don’t drink alcohol. They’re all about protein shakes.

Do I look like I have protein shakes?

Hey, you’re in shape.

Yes, round is a shape.

You’re 52. You’ve had a long Tour career, with two wins and 40 top-10s.

I’ve just been in the right place at the right time. I got through things. I’m a survivalist. I’m not a superstar. I just kept grinding it out.

You’ve won four times on the Champions Tour. What’s the difference between winning on the two tours?

[On the Champions Tour] you’re beating your peers, your own age group. [On the PGA Tour], you’re beating the best players in the world. And that’s a little more satisfying. But all wins are pretty special.

You almost won the Players Championship in 2008, losing to Sergio Garcia in sudden death when you found water on the island green. What stands out from that week?

I actually played pretty good on Sunday. Sergio just played better. Sometimes in life you just get beat. It was the only playoff in my career, and I didn’t handle it very well. You get too quick. My teacher always talks about slowing down. Sergio handled it better.

At the John Deere Classic in 2010, you shot a 59, and you birdied eight of the last nine holes. When on the back nine did you think 59 was possible?

I was walking to No. 16, and I said to myself, “You’ve got a unique opportunity. This is not a time to be concerned about whether you can do it. It’s time to do it. Embrace this—don’t be afraid of it.” By the time I got to the tee, I was back in the present.

Did you keep any mementos from that day?

Yes. I’ve got the balls I played with, and the Tour sent me the scorecard.

Your sense of humor is pretty dry. You had the 54-hole lead at the “08 Players. Bob Costas asked how you slept, and you said, “On my back.” Who else on Tour is funny?

I think everybody’s just as funny. But I lack the gene that says, “Don’t say it.” I don’t know if I’m funnier—I’ll just say more things. And if you throw enough things against the wall, some of them will stick.

Does your humor get you in trouble?

I like to give guys [in pro-ams] a hard time. They all hit shots 50 yards off the green, so I’ll say, “You understand what the flag is there for, right?” And I’ll get letters saying I’m too sarcastic. That’s okay. Hey, I’m going to be me.

You have two lovely adult daughters. Any parenting advice to share?

Children are the loves of your life. They’re more important than your job, your car, your house. The most important thing you will do is be a parent. If you take that attitude, you’ll probably be a pretty good one.