As consolation prizes go, Paul Goydos got a pretty good one Sunday afternoon at the John Deere Classic.
The top player among the top-5 finishers at the John Deere Classic not already eligible got an exemption into the field for the Open Championship at St. Andrews. A final-round 65 to finish at 24 under wasn’t enough to catch winner Steve Stricker, but it did nab Goydos that exemption.
This year will mark just the third time in Goydos’ 21-year career that he’s qualified for the Open Championship. Goydos missed the cut in 2008 and finished in 72nd a year ago. -- Brian Wacker
Paul Goydos had an opportunity to cut Steve Stricker’s lead to just one, but he slid a birdie putt from just over 13 feet past the hole on No. 16. That means Goydos is still two shots back with now only two holes to play.
The next hole, however, is a par-5 (and also the Kodak Challenge hole).
And now the lead is down to just two shots with three holes to play. Paul Goydos is 5 under through 15 holes and as a result is now within real reach of Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic. That said, it’s going to take the kind of finish that Goydos had Thursday when he closed with three straight birdies to cap a 59. Possible? Yes. Probable? No…well, maybe not. Stay tuned. -- Brian Wacker
What once seemed like an insurmountable deficit is now within reach -- though Paul Goydos is running out of holes.
Steve Stricker is still just 1 under on the day and that’s opened the door, at least slightly. With six holes to play, Stricker leads Goydos by just three strokes. Goydos, meanwhile, has been nearly flawless with five birdies and just one bogey.
Now the only question is if there are enough holes left for Goydos to erase the rest of that deficit. -- Brian Wacker
Despite the fact that Steve Stricker holds a commanding five-stroke lead here in the final round of the John Deere Classic, there’s still plenty to play for -- most notably a spot in the Open Championship.
The top finisher among the top 5 at TPC Deere Run who is not already eligible for the Open will get a spot in next week’s field. Right now, that battle is between Jeff Maggert and Paul Goydos. Both began the day at 21 under, though Goydos just birdied the fifth hole to move one shot ahead of Maggert.
If they end in a tie for second, the tie-breaker would go to whoever had the lower third round (since they began they day in a tie, too). That would be Maggert, who shot 63, which will obviously leave Goydos wishing he’d shot that 59 Saturday instead of Thursday. -- Brian Wacker
Two months ago, there were a lot of questions surrounding Steve Stricker and how long he would be out and what kind of golf he would play when he returned from a left shoulder injury. He seems to have that answered that this week.
Stricker has five birdies and no bogeys through 12 holes today and for the week has a field-best 23 birdies -- and just two bogeys. That has Stricker 22 under and four shots clear of Paul Goydos, who is just 3 under on the round and four back of Stricker.
Meanwhile, the day’s best round now belongs to Shaun Micheel, who turned in an 8-under 63 after making the turn in 30. Micheel is now tied for fourth as a result. -- Brian Wacker
Steve Stricker, Paul Goydos and Brendan de Jonge talked to the PGA TOUR Network before the third round:
Bill Rosinski of the PGA TOUR Network on SIRIUS XM Radio speaks to Steve Stricker, Brendon de Jonge, Matt Jones, and Paul Goydos about playing TPC Deere Run aggressively in Round 3
One of the reasons Paul Goydos is near the top of the leaderboard -- aside from shooting an opening-round 59 -- is his wedge play this week at TPC Deere Run.
On the week, Goydos has had 14 approach shots between 75 and 150 yards and he’s averaged 11 feet on his those approach shots. If he keeps that up and continues to roll the ball as well as he has, he won’t go away.
Click here to follow Goydos and Steve Stricker live in the day’s final pairing. -- Brian Wacker
Paul Goydos must feel the hole is as big as a 5-gallon bucket, but he just three-putted the fifth hole to fall back to 16 under and into a tie for Steve Stricker.
Even with the bogey, it appears nothing is going to stop a Stricker-Goydos final group on Saturday for the third round. Such a matchup will be entertaining after the pair combined to shoot a collective 25 under in the first round.
Goydos are Stricker are five shots ahead of Matt Jones and Jeff Maggert.
He's still got a ways to go before he can nail down the all-time 36-hole scoring record to start a tournament (124, Pat Perez, 2009), but Paul Goydos has reached 17 under to regain the lead from Steve Stricker.
Goydos must shoot 64 for the record, so he needs two birdies in the final seven holes. He teed off on the back nine and has already exhausted all his par-5s for the day, so he still has a lot of work to do.