Paul Goydos admittedly did not play his best golf Sunday.
However, it was good enough.
Goydos shot a 3-under-par 69 on The Old Course at Broken Sound to win the Allianz Championship and its $255,000 first-place prize in the Champions Tour event.
“I used everything I had,” Goydos joked. “Duct tape, glue, sawdust. I was like Phil Niekro out there with the Vaseline. I had everything going just trying to find a way to get through the day. I wasn’t at my best.
“When you are playing well, it’s easy to win. When you are not playing well, it’s how you handle it.”
Goydos shot 66-69-69 for a 12-under 204 total for the tournament. He edged Gene Sauers, who had rounds of 71-67-67, by a stroke.
Goydos has now won twice on the PGA Tour (1996 Bay Hill, 2007 Sony Open) and twice on the Champions Tour (2014 Pacific Links and the Allianz).
The tournament came down to the 18th hole with Goydos needing a birdie to win.
It was on the 18th that he looked at the scoreboard and saw Sauers was in at 11-under.
“Where did he come from?” Goydos recalled thinking. “I thought everybody was 10-under-par.”
After a good drive, Goydos took out a 3-hybrid on the 507-yard par-5 hole. He wanted to do just about anything but put the ball in the trap in front of the green. He ripped the shot hard, on purpose, because he was intent on avoiding those dreaded traps.
The ball hit on the green and kept going until it banged against the barrier tarp in front of the grandstands.
Did that mean trouble? No. It meant a free drop, and Goydos knew full well that would be the case.
“I hit the exact shot I wanted to,” Goydos said. “I saw no reason not to be aggressive and hit where I hit it. All things considered, I was happy to hit it solid. Trying to get that shot up in the air could have brought all kinds of problems.”
After getting the free drop, Goydos made a deft 35-foot chip that virtually clinched the championship.
Goydos took out a lob wedge for the chip.
“I was just trying to get it going forward, and I actually thought it might be five feet short,” he said. “But I knew it was a solid shot when I hit it. It got down there to a comfortable distance.”
Very comfortable. Four inches from the hole comfortable.
All Goydos had to do was nudge the ball in for the victory.
Goydos is a person with a quick golf swing, a quick wit and now he would be making a quick trip to the bank.
Although serious throughout the round, his humor came through afterward.
A TV station asked him to go back to the 18th green and reenact the all-important chip shot.
“You want me to act?” Goydos deadpanned. “No problem. To be or not to be.”
He actually did repeat the chip shot, and this time it went three feet by rather than four inches.
At another point, somebody was rattling off statistics.
Goydos smiled and said, “Yeah, statistics are a great predictor of the past.”
Goydos concluded by summing up his week.
“It turned out pretty well,” he said.