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Professional Golfer Paul Goydos Shoots A Rare 59 At The John Deere Classic

A photograph of the Paul Goydos' official scorecard from the first round of the John Deere Classic.
A photograph of the Paul Goydos' official scorecard from the first round of the John Deere Classic.

At the John Deere Classic yesterday, professional golfer Paul Goydos shot a 59, birdieing eight of the last nine holes on the TPC Deere Run course.

A 59 is incredible rare. Less common, in fact, than a perfect game in baseball. It has happened only four times in the history of the PGA Tour.

In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel, Goydos said he has been trying to ascertain how he had such a good game.

"I'm trying to figure that out so I can maybe bottle it and keep it for the next ten or so years," he said. "Everything kinda fell into place."

The course, which was designed by D.A. Weibring, was in "wonderful shape," with soft turf, he said. That definitely helped.

According to Goydos, "softening the golf course does allow for better scores."

It makes the golf course a bit longer, but it makes the golf course play wider. Your ball's not going to roll into trouble. Your ball's basically going to end up where it lands on the greens.

In other words, the ball doesn't bounce as much as usual.

A few years back, playing a round with friends, Goydos shot a 60. After that, he resolved to shoot a 59 before he hung up his clubs for good.

Now, Goydos can say he has played a better competition round than Jack Nicklaus. Or Tiger Woods.

So, why isn't he higher ranked? Why doesn't he regularly win against Woods?

"Beating Tiger for 18 holes, I can do," he said. "Beating Tiger for 36 holes is harder. Beating him for 54 holes is even harder. Beating him for 72 holes doesn't happen very often."

It's the fact that the talent in the game sometimes is not the ability to drive it, or putt it, or chip it, or iron it. The talent of the game is being able to do that on a regular basis on a level that I had yesterday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.
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