Monday, May 12, 2008


Personally, I was pulling for Paul Goydos to win The Players Championship.

I’ve been a sort of closet Goydos fan for about 10 years, ever since we waited out a rain delay together at some tournament somewhere. I don’t even remember what tournament it was; I just remember the skies opened up, I was out at the far end of the golf course, and I ran for the nearest shelter, where, it turned out, Goydos, his caddie and maybe three or four others also had taken refuge.

I also remember Goydos was every bit the wry wit that day as he was on TV with Bob Costas over the weekend at TPC Sawgrass.

At the time, I barely knew who Goydos was. He hadn’t won a tournament yet or otherwise attracted much attention. In fact, he was fighting just to get into tournaments and make enough money to keep his PGA Tour card. I distinctly remember him talking about how he worked as a substitute teacher back home in Long Beach on weeks he didn’t get into tournaments.

Ever since then, I’ve had Goydos pegged as a pretty normal guy, and as someone who will stand there and talk to you and offer thoughtful, honest answers to questions on a wealth of topics. It’s also hard not respect Goydos for surviving out there among the studs and bombers.

The guy is 43, he’s a single dad with two teenage daughters, he’s got a last name that sounds like a growth on your neck and he’s built like a penguin. What's not to like?

You happen to catch his retort on Saturday, after Costas asked him why he kept his top shirt button buttoned in 90-plus heat.

“I’ve got no shoulders,” said Goydos. “It’s the only way my shirt stays on.”