Sony Open round four: Goydos can thank Howell and Donald for his win
“That guy would have closed this tournament and won it.”
That was Charles Howell III Sunday on the difference between him and Tiger Woods (when he wasn’t repeating “This one hurts” like a mantra). At least Howell has the consolation that this was not really his type of course. It was Luke Donald’s type of course, yet the Englishman never looked a winner after Sunday’s opening hole.
This was not the round of someone with pretensions to mixing it at the top. Not only was Donald’s putting again lacklustre, but his usually immaculate iron play went awry as well - just 61% of greens in regulation against 78% in two of his other rounds. He didn’t get the rub of the green a few times and the wind was making things very tricky, but no more so than for his rivals. After immediately giving back his opening birdie, the fight seemed to go out of him.
At least Howell left it to after the turn before developing such a bad case of the Sunday wobbles we would have been justified in calling him lefty, because that’s where all his shots started going.
So yet again we witnessed the triumph of age, a 43 year-old winner last week, 42 this - it must be something in the Hawaiian air.
I know I didn’t rate Paul Goydos’s chances - neither did he - and for a while I was pretty pleased with myself as he slipped a further two shots behind. But by the time he had sneaked back into contention I suspect many people were, like me, begging for Goydos, Jim Furyk, Tadd Fujikawa (heck bring back Michelle Wie if necessary), to take over from the two frit kids out in front. They were going nowhere.
Yet again the wind seemed the ultimate winner - there was not even the sniff of an assault from back in the pack. And maybe that has distorted the form book as we head to the US mainland. The most interesting performance was that of rookie Doug LaBelle, whose tie for fourth with a bogey-free last round may be a sign of things to come.
Mind you, someone observed Sunday that last year Chad Campbell was second here after an awful Sunday showing and went on to win the Hope Classic the following week. Donald’s not in the field so it has to be Charlie doesn’t it?
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B) What tournament will Goydos win next decade? Now there's a lay!
C) Luke's chance at The Masters just went in the toilet, says I.
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