Paul Goydos may have enjoyed the spotlight momentarily for his 59-shot first round of the John Deere Classic, but after the final round on Sunday, it was simply another record in the books. After becoming the fourth player in the history of the PGA Tour, Goydos couldn't hold on throughout the next three rounds
Goydos had suffered months of less than spectacular play leading up to the John Deere Classic, but turned his year around in one tournament. The only problem was Steve Stricker.
With 17 holes to play Sunday, Stricker (-26) had a seven stroke lead over the field that he saw slowly fall away as the round progressed. With five holes to play, Stricker's lead was down to two. After giving back so many strokes during the round, it was hard to imagine Goydos (-24) not pulling a little more magic out of the bag and snaring the win from Stricker.
But, Goydos' luck had been used up and Stricker was able to hold on, shooting a 1-under par 70. So much of the talk throughout the tournament was about Goydos' opening round 59, but it was Stricker's perseverance that paid off in the end.
Stricker may have given up 5 of his 7 stroke lead through 12 holes, but his work the first three days of the tournament was impressive. Coming into the final 18 holes of the tournament, Stricker shot 60, 66, 62 over three days giving him enough cushion to play it safe on Sunday. One more birdie on the first day of play would have put Stricker in the history books with Goydos, but my guess is the two birdies that kept him on top of the leaderboard mattered much more.
It was a two man show at the John Deere Classic - one man made history, the other raised the trophy.
Another tournament, another starless 3-days
I urge you to click the link above that shows the full leaderboard. Scroll down... examine the names... then count how many of them you actually know. No Tiger. No Phil. No Els. Really... nobody.
As golfers prepped for St. Andrews this week (coverage begins Thursday), the John Deere Classic had to press on without golfs biggest stars. It's been a common theme in 2010, and my hope is golf fans have taken notice -- and not cared.
What we're seeing this year is the PGA Tour's ability to survive without stars, but with great golf. Many believed the sport could not survive without Tiger being showcased week-in and week-out, but that's not the case. The TV ratings may show otherwise, but the play this year has been captivating.
The John Deere Classic was the perfect appetizer to the British Open this week because it showcased golf as a game, rather than golfers playing the game. That's the perfect way to enter a tournament being played on the Original Holy Land of golf.
Don't worry about your job, sleep or anything like that come Thursday -- coverage of the British Open at St. Andrews beings at 4 a.m. on ESPN.