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Paul Goydos,”King of the One Liners”

June 30th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

At the final round of The Travelers Championship this past weekend two very popular players were showcased in the last pairing. Kenny Perry, who has won over legions of fans with the way he handled the Masters loss, played excellent golf to win his fourteenth PGA tournament. His playing partner, Paul Goydos, got off to a slow start on the front nine and was not able to catch Perry. However, Goydos, the King of the One Liner, still made his mark on the Travelers. Some may think the funniest part of this tournament was the “Pie in the Face of Lucas Glover” on the tee on Wednesday, but it wasn’t. Every time Paul Goydos is put in front of a microphone you can expect a couple of one liners and a few good laughs. Goydos was asked by Bob Costas when he had the 54 hole lead at The Players how he slept the night before the final round. His response, “On my back.” “Ever had a 54 hole lead before?” asked Costas. Goydos,” No, but I’ve only been on tour for sixteen years.”

Goydos did not disappoint the press during his interview after the final round when he finished second to Perry. When asked to discuss his final four holes where he went four under par he said,” We don’t want to talk about the first fourteen, though.” Comparing Perry’s final round to his round Goydos said,” He played like a guy who won, I don’t know how many times he won…fourteen, I played like a guy who’s won twice.” Goydos was realistic when he described his chance of a comeback when he eagled fifteen. “I’m still grinding it out. I did go two, two. Unfortunately, he went three, three. So you know I went two, two, three (and) I picked up two shots. Part of the equation is that he makes a mistake…Kenny was in no mood to make a mistake.”

When told that the top names on the leader board were all over forty years old Goydos deadpanned, “I wasn’t paying attention to their ages…I think Casey Wittenberg was up there too. What’s he like eight years old?” He was asked if he thought Perry put the Masters loss behind him. Goydos asked,” Masters?…I don’t even know what happened…I forgot.” Asked if it was important to get off to a fast start? He said,” No, I thought the first five holes played pretty tough…(he pulled a tee shot into a tree on hole three) That tree on three got in the way of my ball.” Sometimes his wit is so dry and subtle we miss it. Are you discouraged at all with 19 under and not winning? “Discouraged? No. I’m a bit flabbergasted, I think is a better word. But I think that’s probably the lowest 72 hole score I’ve ever shot on Tour. Two 61’s (61 & 63). I can’t remember two 60’s.” Like who wouldn’t remember two 60’s. He’s a real kidder.

It’s not like he does not offer honest and insightful answers, he does, but we can always get a few laughs from the self deprecating, self described journeyman. He is one of the biggest Tiger Woods fans on tour and tried to impress upon us how difficult it is to win on the tour. “…we sometimes look at not winning as failure, and that’s just not the case. We live in the era of Tiger Woods, who makes winning look ridiculously easy. The more I think about it, the more I feel Tiger Woods is the most underrated player on this tour. You guys have no concept of what he accomplishes on a weekly basis when he plays. It’s ridiculous how good he plays. He makes it look so easy that when somebody else like Kenny Perry, who’s won 14 times, doesn’t get close something’s wrong. That’s just normal. Palmer at The Open, the Olympic Club made a mess of the back nine. It happens to people. It just doesn’t happen to Tiger.”

Goydos played well most of the week, but did not have his “A Game” on the front nine of the final round. His golf game may come and go, but he always brings his “A+ Game” when it comes to an interview.

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Kenny Perry Wins One for the “Family”

June 29th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

I was at the Travelers Championship this weekend when the skies finally cleared on Sunday to allow the boys on the tour to take dead aim at the flags on The TPC Highlands. Kenny Perry once again showed that he is not only a uniquely talented player but also a very sincere and humble man.

Kenny Perry’s victory at the Travelers Championship takes him another step closer to his goal of twenty career wins. Perry is forty eight years old, but he certainly doesn’t act his age. This is Perry’s eleventh victory since he turned forty. Most PGA players at forty eight are making reservations for The Champions Tour. The only reservations Perry is concerned with are for the Victory Ceremony at the next PGA Tour stop. He won on Sunday with a tournament record 22 under par. His 258 ties him with the fourth best 72 hole score in PGA history. Why would he even think about moving to The Champions Tour when he his racking up multiple wins on the PGA Tour? He won three times last season, this is his second win this year and he’s looking for more. He said:

I’m making people think a little bit. Still, six more wins is a lot of wins. You know, I’ve won three last year, two this year already. Who knows? If I get hot again, get on a little streak, sneak in two more by the end of the year, might be very realistic. But as I said before, it was pretty unrealistic goal. I just kind of threw that number out there to see everybody roll their eyes in the back of their head. But it is a goal of mine. I may not ever reach it and if I don’t, that’s fine. My career’s been unbelievable, the things I’ve been able to accomplish. But that keeps me working each day, keeps me going back to work.”

In the interview after his win, when asked to comment on his day on the course, his first word is “Unbelievable” and then he begins to talk about the family that he has stayed with for the last twenty one years when he comes to Connecticut.

“Unbelievable. I mean to say you want to win something and then to actually achieve it is a great feeling. I just hate it took me so long to do it. Steve (Kirsch is the hosting family) would always get onto me. I stay with three families. I won in Phoenix, the FBR, Bill Scott, and the Eastlake in Muirfield. I won those two events. I never could win this win. So he always would get on my case about I guess his cooking wasn’t good enough. It would always upset my stomach or something. No. They’re all in the back, back there, (in the press room) so I’m giving them a hard way to go. But it’s just a special week for me. We’ve played games. I’ve watched their kids grow up. They’ve got three grandchildren now. And it’s just a neat week for me. We just grill out and hang out. We just have so much fun, and it makes the week very special, and no matter how I play, I always look forward to coming here each and every year. So other than that, I’ve been fighting each year to try to do something special here, and it finally showed up today.

Steve and Martha Kirsch (are the hosts). I was a rookie, and was broke, needed a place to stay, and they were going to keep Jay Haas that week and Jay said no. So they said they’d take the rookie with no money, and I’ve never left. I’ve been a bum ever since.”

That’s Kenny Perry. He just won over a million bucks and his fourteenth career victory, and he is recognizing the family that he lives with for one week a year when he plays this tournament. I spoke to the Kirsch’s and when I said that they hit the jackpot with a guy like Kenny they said, “We hit the jackpot twenty one years ago.” Is he really that nice? “Oh, you can’t believe how nice he is.” With this win Perry has gone over the $30 million mark for his career. Do you think he needs free room and board for the week? I don’t think so. He stays with the Kirsch’s because he likes them, is comfortable with them and likes the family atmosphere. He’s a simple guy that loves his family and friends and happens to be the seventh ranked golfer in the world. He says he felt the support from the fans on Sunday.

“I fed off the energy of the crowd today. I had so many people pulling for me all over the golf course. To me that’s never happened. That Augusta thing, even though I lost, I had won over a lot of fans. I definitely felt it from Colonial, Memorial, all the tournaments I’ve played since Augusta, a lot of people have, Ryder Cup has meant a lot to me, and done for me, so my fan base has grown a hundred fold since all that’s happened. It’s been unbelievable.”

Perry said he learned from The Augusta meltdown and was determined to play aggressive all day. When I asked him if he thought he “won over” fans from his play on the course at Augusta or for the way he handled himself in defeat he said:

“Well, I guess everybody loves the interview. Everybody I hear talks about my interview afterwards, how I handled the loss and how I talked about it, and you know, there’s a lot more important things in life. My mother’s got multiple myeloma cancer. My sister’s got breast cancer. There’s a lot of sickness in my family. We’re struggling. Sandy’s mom’s not doing very well. She’s 80 years old. She’s broke her back. She doesn’t get around anymore. So you know, I’m just going to enjoy life right now. I’m going to try to help as many people as I can along the way, and I’m not going to worry too much about wins and losses and we’re going to enjoy life a little bit.”

Kenny Perry realizes that there are more important things in life than golf and he isn’t shy about saying so. You can see the sincerity in his eyes and here the emotion in his voice. He is right: he won over plenty of fans at The Masters and golf isn’t the most important issue in his life. The issues he is dealing with are familiar to many of us and maybe that is what draws us to him. He has many of the same problems that we do and he comports himself like we all hope we would do in the same circumstances. He is an honest, sincere and moral man. He’s one of the good guys, and he’s looking forward to his next win: only six more to go for his twenty.

Check out our article on Perry after his Masters loss.

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Kenny Perry Takes The Travelers

June 28th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

 A strange thing happened today at the Travelers Championship.  The sun shone brightly and there was not a drop of rain.  The temperature wasn’t the only thing that was hot. Kenny Perry started hot when he birdied the second hole to tie Paul Goydos for the lead at sixteen under.  On the third hole Goydos hit a tree with his tee shot and his ball bounded back into the rough short of the fairway.  It was a drive of 164 yards and he still had 260 yards to the hole. He scrambled for an amazing par save, but he could tell it was not going to be his day.  At the sixth hole Perry’s approach caught the greenside bunker but after a brilliant sand shot he sunk a seven foot birdie putt to take the lead.  Paul Goydos and the rest of the field were left staring at Perry’s back the rest of the day.  With birdies on three of the next four holes he went to twenty under and in the lead to stay.  Goydos made a valiant attempt at a comeback going four under par over the last four holes (an eagle and two birds) but Perry was up to the charge and went two under over the same four holes.  When he sank his par putt on eighteen he threw up his hands in triumphant exaltation.  This was his first win in twenty one tries at The Travelers and his fourteenth career win.  He called the win unbelievable and says he is up to the task of reaching his goal of twenty tournament wins.  The way he is playing now, you can hardly doubt him.

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Sunday Action All Over

June 28th, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

This looks like a great Sunday for golf fans. All the tours are playing and there should be plenty of interesting action. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and give all these golfers a break.

Self described “journeyman” Paul Goydos leads Kenny Perry by a stroke at The Travelers in Cromwell Connecticut. The two of them will represent forty seven years of professional experience when they tee off together. On CBS at 300pm

Only on the LPGA Tour could a player have three wins, including a major victory, last year and still be called a rookie. That’s the case with Jiyai Shin, who leads The Wegman’s by four strokes over Morgan Pressel. True rookie, Stacy Lewis, is five back and looking for her best finish of the year. On ESPN2 at 500pm.

Fred Funk has worked through his knee problems, put the US Open behind him and leads the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open by three strokes. Anytime Funk is leading you can bet on some entertaining golf. On The Golf Channel 100pm.

Retief Goosen leads Bernhard Langer by two strokes going into the final round of the BMW International Open. Yes, you read that right, Bernhard Langer. He passed on playing in The Champions Tour event and decided to play in his home country against the European Tour’s best. Looks like a good call. Langer is great shape and still has major game. On The Golf Channel at 900am.

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Tiger’s Niece Plays With the Pros

June 27th, 2009 2 comments

by Jeff Skinner

Back in May when Cheyenne Woods accepted an invitation to play in The Wegman’s LPGA we offered some words of caution.  Do you follow Tiger’s example or Michelle Wie’s?

The name “Woods” carries a lot of weight in the world of golf. It is said that Tiger Woods is the most recognized athlete in the world and that he is the driving force on the PGA Tour. That may be the case but the name Woods seems to be helping out another golfer named Woods, Tiger’s niece, Cheyenne Woods. Ms. Woods was offered and accepted a sponsor’s exemption into the Wegmans LPGA. Cheyenne is an up and coming freshman at Wake Forest University. She is a very good player, but not a great player, yet. She may grow and mature into the next Annika, but for now she is a freshman in college and not even the best golfer on her team. The Wake Forest team has at least three or four players on the team with better records this year. There are dozens and dozens of female college golfers that have had more distinguished seasons than her, but her last name is a calling card that few can match.

I understand the need for tournaments to sell tickets and to get publicity for the tournament in order for it to be a success. We see it with John Daly on the PGA Tour (before his suspension) and the European tour. We have seen it for years with Michelle Wie, who not only was getting exemptions into LPGA events, but she was getting them for men’s PGA events. It was not until this year that Michelle earned her tour card through Q-School. She had been in so many tournaments the past years it appeared that she was a full member of the tour. Tournaments are about making money: money for the players, money for the charities and money for the tour. However, is someone going to buy a ticket to see Cheyenne Woods at this stage? I’m not so sure. What I am sure of is this. Someone in the “Woods” camp should take some time to consider where and when Cheyenne plays outside of college. Michelle Wie started playing in tournaments way above her skill level at a young age. She has struggled on the LPGA Tour and has suffered in the men’s tournament she played in. She has yet to recover from a career that has more ups and downs than Augusta National.

Cheyenne has said that Earl Woods was an influence in her life and that Tiger has helped her out on her game. Take a lesson from the master, and I don’t mean Tiger. I mean Earl. He had Tiger compete at all levels of golf. He stayed at that level until he dominated it and then he moved up to play with older and more experienced golfers. Earl never let him get in over his head where he would be overwhelmed and therefore discouraged. Michelle Wie was not so lucky. She moved into tougher levels of golf so quickly that she was never given the chance to be a dominating champion and it has hindered her career. She may very well overcome it this year but it has been a struggle. That happens when huge expectations are placed upon a person.

Cheyenne Woods seems like a mature, composed, polite young lady. Her golf career is all ahead of her now. She is at a great school and has a strong support system I am sure. She should take great care in deciding which tournaments outside of college to compete in. It may seem like the fun thing to do now, but beware. Whose path would you rather follow: Michelle Wie or Uncle Tiger?

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Perry is Really Hot at the Travelers

June 26th, 2009 No comments

“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

Kenny Perry shot lights out at the Travelers on Thursday. He had nine birdies, six on the front for a 29 on the first nine, and finished with a 61. The TPC River Highlands course is defenseless with soft greens and no wind. Over 100 players were able to shoot under par. What a difference a week makes. Only five players finished under par at The US Open last week. You can watch live action from The Travelers on PGATour.com. It’s not being there but it’s better than work.

It looks like the USGA may be holding off on the “Groove Rollback.” It was scheduled to go into effect next year but Golf World reports it may be delayed. I watched those guys at Bethpage hit out of deep US Open rough and still spin it back. What’s up USGA? First you change policy to let Thursday tickets be used on Monday and now you are hesitating on a decision. Where is the old USGA and what have you done with them?

Retief Goosen has a two stroke lead at the European Tours’ BMW International. John Daly is seven strokes back and he’ll need to step it up to make the cut. Paddy Harrington’s early exit from The US Open and four consecutive missed cuts seem to indicate he still has problems. Rory McIlroy thinks he will snap out of it soon.

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Paul Goydos Scrambles to a 63

June 25th, 2009 No comments

The sun is shining on The TPC River Highlands and it is warm and muggy.  California boy Paul Goydos must feel right at home as he shot seven under 63 to share the lead with Charles Warren.  After a stumbling start where he scrambled for par on his first two holes he righted and ship and managed seven birdies including three straight on 15,16 and 17.  He said afterward that he “felt quite fortunate” as his tough start could have landed him in trouble.  He felt like he was playing with “house money” after his start and continued his scrambling on eighteen.  He pulled his tee ball into the rough above a bunker on the left, had no stance and had to punch out.  His ball ended up close to the cart path but he elected to hit it while standing on the cart path.  A drop would have given him a poor lie.  From there he stiffed a wedge to two feet, putted for par and signed for a seven under 63.  Not bad for a guy who was looking at two over after two holes.  Goydos sent out his sympathies to Chris Smith.  All the players have made a point to express their support for Smith and his family.

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Back to Normal for the Tours

June 25th, 2009 No comments
“Hooks and Slices” will bring you our view on whats happening in the golf world.

 

It’s back to normal for the golf world this week with all the tours back in action.  The PGA, Champions and the LPGA are all in the northeast this week and may be subject to some weather issues.  Like we haven’t had enough rain delays this past week already!

 

Brian Gay and John Merrick share the early lead at -5, at The Travelers Championship at The TPC River Highlands.  The course is wet and primed for really low scores.  Returning champion Stewart Cink leads the assault on The TPC along with US Open Champion Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan who is fully recovered from his shot off the 16th pin at The Open.  I’m at the TPC today and hoping to see some golf without the use of my rain gear!

 

The LPGA is back at The Wegman’s in upstate New York.  Cristie, Paula and Michele Wie lead a strong American contingent that welcomes Tiger’s niece, Wake Forest freshman, Cheyenne Woods to her first LPGA tournament.  The ladies even get some television this week, as ESPN2 will have coverage from 500pm-700pm.

 

The European Tour is in Munich Germany for the BMW International Open.  It seems every European Tournament has “BMW” in its name.  John Daly is back abroad and will try to keep his comeback on track.  The Golf Channel has coverage but, be warned; Daly is wearing those Loudmouth Pants again.

 

The Champions Tour makes it a Northeast Trifecta when they tee it up at The Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, New York.  Edwardo Romero is defending and The Golf Channel will have coverage each afternoon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

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PGA Pro’s Earn Their Money on Wednesday

June 24th, 2009 No comments

The rain stopped up at the Travelers and the Pro-am is well under way.  This is where the tour players really earn their paychecks.  They have to participate in the Wednesday Pro-am or they cannot play in the tournament.  They get to roam the course with three amateur teammates and post a score for low man per team on each hole.  It can be a daunting task.  The first amateur to hit in Paul Goydos’s group hit his tee ball so far right it landed in someone’s living room.  Right now Sergio Garcia’s group is leading with an eighteen hole score of 54.  That’s right, 54, that is 16 under par on this par 70 course.  I know it’s a Pro-Am, but anytime you see 54 on a scoreboard you have to take notice.  There are a few big name celebrities playing here.  Roger Staubach, Bill Belichick, Sandy Koufax, Chris Berman, Doug Flutie, Dwight Evans, Luke Wilson and Joe Pesci are all here hacking it around on the beautiful TPC River Highlands course. 

I watched Lucas Glover for a few holes.  He’s still hot and he opened with a birdie for his group.  As expected he was swarmed with fans asking for autographs and as expected he was signing everyone.  The affable Jerry Kelly was playing with Staubach, Pesci and UConn and WNBA basketball star, Jen Rizzotti.  They were all getting their money’s worth.  On each hole Kelly worked with each of them on their swing or setup.  It looked liked he was really enjoying himself.  He helped Staubauch with his shoulder turn, and Pesci with his setup.  Staubauch was signing as many autographs as Kelly and even threw a football to a fan as he button hooked down the fairway. 

If you are wondering how you can get to play with a PGA Tour Pro, it’s easy.  Sign a hefty check over to the tournament, or get your boss to pay, clean off your clubs and get ready to tee off in front of a big group of people wondering if you can really play.

Here’s one of the Pro-Am options at the Travelers.

 

Wednesday Travelers Celebrity Pro-Am
Total Cost: Threesome for  $22,500


Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at TPC River Highlands
Featuring PGA TOUR professionals and celebrities from sports and entertainment.

o                Breakfast, lunch and on course refreshments

o                3 Pro-Am Participant Badges (valid for Grounds Admission all week)

o                3 Exclusive Pro-Am Participant Parking Passes (valid for Wednesday only)

o                3 Pre-Tournament Practice Rounds at TPC River Highlands

o                6 Pro-Am Pairings Party Invitations (Sunday, June 21)

o                6 Pro-Am Reception Invitations (Wednesday, June 24)

o                3 Pro-Am Participant Gift Packages

o                15 Daily Sponsor Club Tickets (each valid any one day, Wed.-Sun.)

o                3 Lot B Weekly Parking Passes

o                Recognition in Tournament Publication and Website for all partners confirmed by May 1, 2009.

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Lucas Glover at The Travelers Championship

June 24th, 2009 No comments

by Jeff Skinner

 

I am up in Connecticut today at the Travelers Championship and of course, just like at the US Open, it is raining again.  The whirlwind week for US Open champ, Lucas Glover continues.  He is scheduled to tee off in the Pro-Am at 12:50pm.  I wonder what the amateur partners thought last week when they saw they were playing with Glover.  I bet their attitude changed big time on Monday night.  They go from playing with a PGA Tour Pro with a moderate track record, to playing with the US Open Champion.  Talk about the luck of the draw!

Glover has been non-stop since kissing the trophy on Monday night. He’s been to the top of The Empire State Building for a photo shoot, done a half dozen radio shows, appeared on Regis and Kelly and read Letterman’s Top Ten List last night. In the interview tent he said,” It was one the greatest but most tiring days of my life in New York City.  It was great.” Glover has turned into the star attraction up here.  When asked if he ever thought of cancelling this week and not coming to The Travelers he responded with an emphatic “No Sir…I was committed before the US Open and I’m committed to be here next weekend (at the)  John Deere, I’m going to keep those commitments. I feel that’s the right thing to do.  Just because I won golf tournament doesn’t change anything.  I was committed and I’m going to honor that commitment.”  This is a guy that is answering questions with Yes Sir, No Sir and speaks of honoring his commitments.  He spoke of all the text messages and calls he has received and how many of his Tour associates have made a point of congratulating him.  He was a true diplomat when asked which of his experiences he enjoyed most he deferred, choosing to say that they were all different but all fun. “Each was very different. So I don’t want to rank them on ahead of the other. But the Empire State Building, we were on the 103rd floor….not many people have been up there, it’s not open to the public.  That was really neat.”

He was asked at what point he thought he had a chance to win The Open and his response was surprising.  “Well I played probably the round of my life that second round to get in contention.  The third round, I played pretty well on the back nine.  I thought if I kept doing what I’m doing, I would be there in the end.  Never did I think if I keep doing what I’m doing I’m going to win.  It’s if I keep doing what I’m doing I’m going to be there and have a chance to win.  That’s the bottom line, and that’s what kept my focus.  It was not planning on winning; it was having the opportunity to.”

The first words Glover said to his caddy, Don Cooper, when he sank his last putt on eighteenth green were “You owe me.”  Cooper had told his boss awhile ago that for his next win Cooper would buy him a Corvette. I asked him how the negotiations were going for his Corvette.  He laughed and said,” I don’t know.  That’s in his court.  That was his deal a couple of years ago.  He just told me in the car one day he said, all right, next one I’m buying you a Vette.  So I’ll leave it to him.  I’m not going to hold it to him unless he just wants to.  But it was the first thing that popped into my head after that putt went in.  I saw Coop standing there and said you owe me pal.”

Glover’s demeanor is that of quiet, calm, southern gentlemen.  He speaks of honoring commitments and is courteous and humble beyond belief.  He is the biggest star here today, but he really would just like to play some golf and then get good nights sleep.

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