Many saw the final round of the Sony Open as a two-horse race between third round leader Charles Howell III and Luke Donald who was one shot behind. Very few predicted that journeyman Paul Goydos would come from behind to take the title by one stroke from the pair.
Goydos birdied the last for a 67 and his first PGA Tour win since the 1996. The 42-year-old has struggled with hip surgery and only made his card for this year thanks to a second place finish in the final event of last season. His birdie on the last left Howell with a 15-foot birdie putt to force a play-off but he was unable to convert it.
“I’m stunned. I mean, I got off to a slow start and I was just trying to hang in there and just try to take it one shot at a time, sounds like a cliché, but things weren’t going well early. You know, I’m stunned. I’m still stunned, and it’s 20 minutes later,” said Goydos.
Throughout the week in Hawaii Donald had looked solid, a 63 on the first day game him the lead and he remained in contention with solid rounds off 66 and 69. He failed to get going on the final day and needed to hole a chip for and eagle on the last to tie with Goydos. The chip hit the pin but did not drop leaving Donald tied with Howell on 13-under.
The 16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa, became the youngest player in 50 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour. He shot a 72 on the final day to finish tied for 20th. His great week was in stark contrast to fellow Hawaiian teenager Michelle Wie who shot 78 and 76 to once again miss the cut in a men?s event.
Vijay Singh retains his FedExCup lead after finishing 34th while Goydos moves into 2nd.
The win earns Goydos $936,000 which is more than he had ever won in any of his 14 previous seasons on the PGA Tour.