Paul Goydos might need a new nickname.
“Sunshine” by his friends — an ironic reference to his often
pessimistic view of his game — Goydos is now also “Mr. 59”
after shooting a sub-60 round Thursday at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill."Fifty-nine is a pretty iconic number," Goydos said. "Someone was smiling on me. It was a really good day. I don't want to understate [the achievement], but it's still sinking in."
Goydos, 46, is the fourth player to shoot 59 in a PGA Tour event. The others
are Al Geiberger (1977), Chip Beck (1991) and David Duval (1999). He
shot 12-under, with eight birdies on the back nine, including birdies
on Nos. 17 and 18, to post his 59. He missed only one fairway and two
greens in regulation all day.
is a two-time Tour winner who won over a legion of fans with his humor
after losing the 2008 Players Championship to Sergio Garcia in a
He showed the same good humor when asked what he was thinking during his first-round 59 Thursday.
“Well, obviously I wasn't thinking,” Goydos said. “If I was thinking I think I would shoot 74 or 5.”
The historic round could not have come at a better time for Goydos, who has struggled since losing his final-round lead when he made a 9 on the 14th hole at Pebble Beach during the AT&T National Pro-Am.
"I've been very good at playing poorly now for the last 10 tournaments or so," Goydos said.
"Really since the 9. There's two things that are going to stand out right now this year. That's the 9 and the 59. And really since that 9 at Pebble I have not played well.
Goydos acknowledged that he benefited from "lift, clean and place" rules, which were in effect at the John Deere Classic due to wet conditions. Goydos noted that Geiberger's 59 was also played under "lift, clean and place" rules. However, he added that he did not land in a divot or have mud on his ball at anytime during the round. He said he doubted he placed his ball more than 1 inch from where it originally landed.
The par-71 TPC Deere Run course is 7,268 yards long. Goydos took only 22 putts, including his last 7-foot putt for birdie, to become the first player to shoot 59 in more than 11 years.
"I was more nervous over that putt than any putt my whole career," Goydos said, noting that he had little more than tap-ins for his two Tour wins.
Still, Goydos said that winning the tournament is more important that posting a number in a single round, no matter how special that number is.
"I was asked would you rather shoot 59 and finish third," Goydos said. "That's not even a question. I'm here to win the golf tournament."
Goydos said he didn't know why more players don't shoot 59, except that golf is hard for everybody.
"I think there's a slight mental barrier to it – that could be part of it — but honestly I have no idea," Goydos said.
Golf.com readers are not surprised to see another 59, however. Earlier this week, a Golf.com poll asked if a Tour player would ever shoot 59 again. More than 95 percent of you voted “Yes.”