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Archive for Sunday, May 11, 2008

Unaccomplished Goydos leads

Sergio Garcia watches the flight of his shot from the first fairway. Garcia was tied for the lead as he stood on the 17th tee at the Players Championship, but struggled late and finished the round three shots behind Paul Goydos on Saturday at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Sergio Garcia watches the flight of his shot from the first fairway. Garcia was tied for the lead as he stood on the 17th tee at the Players Championship, but struggled late and finished the round three shots behind Paul Goydos on Saturday at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

May 11, 2008

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— Paul Goydos would love to say he saw this coming, but he's too honest.

He never had broken 70 in nine previous appearances at The Players Championship, yet a 2-under 70 on Saturday made him the only player to break par all three days on the TPC Sawgrass and gave him a one-shot lead over Kenny Perry.

Since his last victory 16 months ago on the PGA Tour - and only the second of his career - he has yet to crack the top 20. But after a birdie on the island-green 17th and a hybrid out of the trees to make par on the final hole, he wound up with a 54-hole lead for the first time in his career.

"But I've only been on tour 16 years," Goydos deadpanned. "I guess I was due."

This is the leader at the richest event on the PGA Tour - a 43-year-old former substitute teacher who is raising two teenage daughters. He has no endorsement deal, so he bought a Long Beach State baseball cap last week in an airport with the nickname "Dirtbags" on the bill. Even in 90-degree weather, he keeps his shirt buttoned to the top because "I have no shoulders."

Was he shocked to be holding a one-shot lead?

"Pretty much," Goydos said. "You have to go by the track record, and mine stinks."

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