May 17, 2009

Birdies And Bogeys

An unscientific breakdown of the golf week's highs and lows

Paul Goydos faltered late at the Valero Texas Open, but it was still an impressive showing.

Paul Goydos faltered late at the Valero Texas Open, but it was still an impressive showing.

Hats off to Zach Johnson for successfully defending his Texas Open title Sunday, edging hard-charging James Driscoll (62) on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff for his second victory of the season. And great showing by sentimental favorite Paul Goydos, who despite faltering down the stretch, still finished one shot back.

Four months ago to the day, Goydos' ex-wife Wendy passed away. And while he certainly wouldn't use it as an excuse, Goydos would only be human if he wasn't thinking about her in the back of his mind.

Goydos grabbed the lead with a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-4 16th hole, but lost it with bogeys at 17 and 18. At the latter, he stubbed a chip shot.

"For 70 holes I did really good," said the 44-year-old Goydos. "Didn't hit a good putt on 17 and didn't hit a good shot on 18."

Birdie: To Goydos, Bill Haas (Texas Open) and Chris Anderson (BMW Charity Pro-Am) for shooting 29s this week. Haas' father, Jay, has played professional golf for more than 30 years and competed in 797 events, and has yet to shoot in the 20s.

Bogey: To the European Tour, for extending another captain's pick -- three total -- to Colin Montgomerie for the 2010 Ryder Cup matches in Wales. The Americans finally regain the cup and Europe tweaks its system.

Birdie: To Henrik Stenson, for working with sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella in April to cure his driving yips. Of course, Stenson only hit one driver during his scintillating final-round 66 at the Players Championship.

Bogey: To Michelle Wie, for saying she still wants to win on the PGA Tour and play in the Masters.

"You know, like I always say, dream high and stuff, set your goals up high, and I think it's definitely -- I'm not saying it's an easy goal to achieve," she said. "I'm not going to be like, 'Oh, I'm going to go out and win a men's event.' It's not like that, but it's one of those long-term goals where I see myself getting to."

First things first. How about winning an LPGA tournament?

Birdie: To Anthony Kim for competing in the Texas Open. He repaid them for an earlier sponsor's exemption and was the lone player ranked in the top 25 in the Official World Ranking to enter. Kim didn't play well, but grinded to make the cut.

Bogey: To Montgomerie -- we can't resist -- for second-guessing Rory McIlroy for saying the Ryder Cup is an exhibition and should be fun.

"All I can say to you is you ask me, is the Ryder Cup an exhibition, no, it's not an exhibition, all right," Monty told the European press at the Irish Open. "So please don't say, and hopefully, that it won't come from me, that Monty and Rory are having a war here. Please don't say that, because I haven't said that, and all I've said is the Ryder Cup is not an exhibition and never will be."

OK, we won't.

Birdie: To John Daly, whose good play in Europe is making people notice more than his pants and helping to fuel speculation when his PGA Tour suspension ends (June). He finished second in the Italian Open, but missed the cut at the Irish Open after a second-round 75. To Daly's credit, he didn't pack it in on a cold, wet day. After making two early double bogeys, he played the last 14 holes in one under.

Next up: the BMW PGA Championship in Wentworth, England, followed by the European Open at the London Club in Kent.

Birdie: To the PGA of America for extending a special invitation to 17-year-old Ryo Ishikawa of Japan to play in the PGA Championship, Aug. 13-16 at Hazeltine National Golf Club. Why not? He's young, colorful, fun to watch, and has game.

Bogey: To Bob Tway, who tied for 68th in his Champions Tour debut at the Regions Charity Classic.

Birdie: To David Duval, for shooting an opening-round 66 at the Texas Open, his lowest round since a 66 in the 2007 Buick Invitational. He slipped on the weekend and tied for 63rd.

Birdie: To Michael Sim, who won for the second time in three weeks on the Nationwide Tour. The Aussie has now banked more than $360,000 in seven starts.

Birdie: To the Nationwide Tour. In Thursday's first round of the BMW Charity Classic, 21 players shot bogey-free rounds.

Bogey: To Mother Nature. For the first time since 2006, a Champions Tour event was reduced to 36 holes due to heavy rain. Keith Fergus was the benefactor, winning for the second time this year.

Birdie: To former PGA champion Bob Rosburg, who passed away this week at age 82. "Rossie" had a long and distinguished career as TV's first foot soldier for ABC, but always seemed to think players couldn't execute trouble shots. "Jim, he has no shot," Rosburg would often tell play-by-play man Jim McKay, only to see the player knock the ball on the green.

Birdie: To Annika Sorenstam, who announced that she and husband Mike McGee will welcome a baby girl to the world in the fall.

Birdie: To Cristie Kerr, who jumped to No. 3 in the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking after her win in the Michelob Ultra Open. She is now the highest-ranked U.S. player, passing Paula Creamer, who held that distinction for 72 weeks dating back to Dec. 31, 2007.

Birdie: To host Tiger Woods, for helping raise big bucks for the Tiger Woods Foundation and select charities at Tiger Jam XII in Las Vegas on Saturday, where the band "No Doubt" wowed the full house at Mandalay Bay Resort. Among the concert-goers: John Cook, Mark O'Meara and Nick Watney.

Birdie: To Lance Ten Broeck, Jesper Parnevik's regular caddie. He packed for Parnevik Thursday morning, helping him shoot 70 in the Valero Texas Open, then was informed he could take David Berganio Jr.'s spot in the field at 1:45 pm after Berganio withdrew with an injury. Using borrowed clubs from Richard S. Johnson, the 53-year-old Ten Broeck, a former PGA Tour regular, shot a respectable 1-over 73, then pulled double-duty again Friday, shooting 70 in the morning and caddied for Parnevik in the afternoon.

"I wasn't going to pass it up," Ten Broeck said.

Ten Broeck missed the cut by one; Parnevik by four.

Mark Soltau is a Golf Digest contributing editor and editor of