Notebook, Round 1: John Deere Classic

July 08, 2010
Doug Milne

Weather: Partly cloudy and humid with an afternoon of 83 degrees. Winds NW 8-12 mph.

Because of wet conditions, the "preferred lies" option was in effect.

In the morning wave, Paul Goydos birdied eight of his inward nine holes en route to a bogey-free 12-under 59 in his 448th PGA TOUR start. He joins Al Geiberger, Chip Beck and David Duval as the only players to post that record-low, 18-hole score in a PGA TOUR event.

Of the three previous 59s, only Al Geiberger's was played under "preferred lies" conditions. David Duval and Al Geiberger converted their 59s into victory, while Chip Beck finished T3.

The previous lowest 18-hole score at TPC Deere Run was a 10-under 61, posted by Steve Stricker in round two last year, and J.P. Hayes in round two in 2002.

Goydos needed 14 putts on the front nine and just eight on the back nine, for a total of only 22 putts, four shy of the PGA TOUR record. His eight putts on the back nine is two shy of the nine-hole record, held by Stan Utley. Goydos hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation.

Goydos putted in from off the green for a birdie-two at the par-three 16th hole. His longest putt of the day was 39'4" at the par-four 11th en route to a cumulative total of 187'7" over his 18 holes. His lone par on the back nine was a four at the 461-yard 15th.

Goydos' 12-under 59 supplants 2010's previous low 18-hole score of 9-under 61, posted by Cameron Beckman in round two of the HP Byron Nelson Championship. It also replaces the lowest first 18-hole score of the year, a 10-under 62 by Shane Bertsch at the Bob Hope Classic.

Goydos' back-nine, 8-under 28 is one stroke shy of the record for most strokes under par on a front or back nine stretch. Four players have previously gone 9-under.

Goydos reeled of five consecutive birdies on hole Nos. 10-14. The longest birdie streak on TOUR is six, held by Matt Every, Phil Mickelson and Scott Piercy.

Prior to today, Goydos' career-low round was a pair of 62s, most recently achieved in the second-round of the 2008 Open. Headed into this week, his low round of 2010 was a second-round, 7-under 63 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, site of his most recent win in 2007.

Goydos is competing in his 11th John Deere Classic, dating back to 1993. It his first start at the TPC Deere Run since 2007. His best previous score since the tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000 was a pair of 5-under 66s in the final round of 2002 and 2007.

Goydos has made 10 of 18 cuts so far on the PGA TOUR in 2010. His best finishes were T5s at the Northern Trust Open, followed by another T5 a week later at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Goydos is the winner of the 1996 Bay Hill Invitational and 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii.

This marks the sixth time Goydos has held at least a share of an 18-hole lead. His most recent first-round lead was at the 2009 Barclays, where he eventually finished T9.

The first-round leader has gone on to win in six of 27 stroke play events this year, most recently being Lee Westwood at the St. Jude Classic.

Defending John Deere Classic champion Steve Stricker birdied his last three holes en route to a bogey-free, 11-under 60. He trails Goydos by a single stroke.

Paul Goydos' 12-under 59 and Steve Stricker's 11-under 60 are the two lowest scores to ever be posted in the same round. In fact, a 59 and a 60 have only been posted once in the same year. In 1999, David Duval's 59 at the Bob Hope Classic was followed up by a 60 from Tommy Armour III at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Stricker's 11-under 60 sets a new career low round for the 43 year-old Wisconsin native. He previously shot a 61 twice, most recently in the second-round at the 2009 John Deere Classic.

Stricker is making his ninth John Deere Classic start this week, dating back to 1993. In addition to his win here last year, his other top-10 finishes were a T7 in 1997 and a T4 in 2004.

Stricker, who claimed his eighth PGA TOUR career win earlier this year at the Northern Trust Open, is making his 12th start of the year.

Scoring Averages at the par-71 TPC Deere Run:
  Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Thursday: 34.617 34.916 69.532 ---

Greg Owen was disqualified when his marker failed to sign his scorecard. Derek Lamely withdrew during his round with a pulled muscle.