The Front Nine: News, notes from 3M Championship
Goydos' key shot in Round 1, Perry's hot start, Sutherland back on track and more
August 10, 2017
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- There were historically low scores at the 3M Championship at TPC Twin Cities. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Paul Goydos’ second-round 60 at the 3M Championship certainly put him in a good position to win for the fifth time on PGA TOUR Champions.
But it was a birdie during Friday’s first round that he said salvaged what could have been a bad day and planted the seed for a turnaround.
The 53-year-old Californian was off to a so-so start. He began his day on the back nine and arrived at his 11th hole, No. 2 at TPC Twin Cities, a par-4 playing 388 yards, at 1-over par. He didn’t look anything like a guy about to play his next 44 holes in 21 under.
“I drove it in a divot over the water,” Goydos said. “Whoever hit the shot came over the top about 25 degrees to the left, so I’ve got to aim at the left of the green, I can’t hit the ball. I hit it and it flew on the green, and I had a 30-footer for birdie there. When I hit it, I thought I putted it into the lake. The greens are quick; it’s going to go off the green. And it went bang and went in, and I birdied the next three. If that putt doesn’t go in, I’m not sitting here today, there’s no question.
“I wasn’t very patient yesterday [referring to Friday's round of 2-under 70] and then something really good happened, dumb luck for lack of a better word, and it kind of calmed things down.”
Goydos has had at least one victory in each year since joining PGA TOUR Champions in 2014.
2. Ready for launch. Even Goydos knew his victory came out of nowhere. “I’ve won five times out here, and I’m surprised by all five. It wasn’t like I was building up to here. It was just kind of like, ‘Zing!’ Like the space shuttle taking off at Canaveral for no apparent reason. I did play well the last round at Caves Valley, and then the British was such a crazy week that I just, you know, that’s where you just need to have that great amnesia.”
3. After the W. Goydos told The Golf Channel after his 3M Championship victory that he typically has not played well after a victory.
A check of his record reveals he might be being a tad bit hard on himself. Yes, he has only one top 10 (a T10 at that), but he hasn’t been horrific either.
Goydos won twice on the PGA TOUR. He followed his 1996 Bay Hill Invitational triumph with a T21 at the Freeport McDermott Classic, and he backed up his 2007 win at the season-opening Sony Open in Hawaii with a T48 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
As far as Goydos’ five PGA TOUR Champions victories, only three have had follow-ups to examine. He had a T14 at the PURE Insurance Championship at Pebble Beach after winning the 2014 Pacific Links Championship; a T10 at the Chubb Classic after winning the 2015 Allianz Championship; and a missed cut at The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex in 2016 after hoisting the trophy at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Open. There was no event after his win in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship last year, and we’ll see how he follows up his 3M Championship win.
What makes it really interesting is that the next event features Goydos defending his DICK’s Sporting Goods Open title.
4. Kenny Perry’s hot start, cool finish. The Kentucky native burst from the gate at the 3M Championship, opening with six consecutive birdies and making the turn at 7 under. But he played the next 45 holes in only 9 under to finish in a tie for seventh at 16 under after entering the final round tied for the lead. “What killed me was on 6,” Perry said of his final round. “I had like 235 front, 250 to the hole, had a hybrid. I’ve been hitting my hybrid great all year. I chunked it right in the lake and made bogey on a hole I should be making birdie or eagle on, and that really stunned me. I just never really got going after that.”
5. The long and Short of it. Wes Short Jr. could be a player to watch at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Open. He was runner-up to Goydos there a year ago, and he’s coming off a T7 at the 3M Championship in which he closed with a 62, the second-best round of the tournament to Goydos’ 60 on Saturday. It was the low round on Sunday by two shots and moved Short up 27 places.
6. Finishing on a Sauers note. Gene Sauers had his sixth top 10 of 2017 at the 3M Championship, losing to Goydos on the first hole of sudden death. Sauers was looking for his second PGA TOUR Champions victory, but his hopes were dashed when he hit his second shot into the water on the par-5 18th. Still, his runner-up finish moved him up six spots to 12th in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
7. Sutherland back on track. After a stretch in which he had only one top 10 in five events, Kevin Sutherland nailed down a T3 at the 3M Championship for his second consecutive top 10 and his 10th top 10 of 2017. And he’s worth keeping an eye on at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Open, where he famously shot the only 59 in PGA TOUR Champions history, in 2014. He has two top 10s and a T17 at the event in three starts.
8. Social of the week
9. Number of the week – 67.883. The average score during the second round of the 3M Championship, the lowest in PGA TOUR Champions history.