Monday, May 12, 2008

Two good things come out of TPC

Two very good things came out of The Players Championship Sunday even if all most of us got to watch was Doppler radar while the final holes were being played:

1. Sergio

It was a huge win for Sergio Garcia in many ways. It had been three years since he’d won and a significant portion of his sparkle had dulled in that time. He nearly won the British Open last year but didn’t and the longer he went without winning, the more the questions mounted.

It’s no secret that Sergio (above) doesn’t love the media because he’s been constantly reminded that he’s not been a good putter. He was a good putter when he arrived on tour but he watched too many putts miss and it worked on his head.

He came across as whiney last year after his British Open loss and got blasted for it. In fairness to him, he was bitterly disappointed and let his emotions show.

Asked Sunday evening if he still feels like a kid, Sergio said he plays his best when he plays like a kid but he feels like an old 28-year old.

At The Players, Sergio holed several key putts, including a huge one to get into the playoff. He’s begun working with short-game and putting guru Stan Utley and the results were apparent at Ponte Vedra Beach.

Garcia has what only a handful of players have – star power. He has the smile and the style to be more than a golfer. Sergio makes people watch. And, if we’re lucky, his best is yet to come.

2. Paul Goydos

Until you’re seriously into golf, you probably didn’t know who Paul Goydos was before this weekend. Even Goydos has joked, from time to time, that there’s no reason to know him because he’s never done anything.

In fact, he’s won twice on tour and is one of the most interesting guys on tour. He’s smart, sees the world beyond himself and appreciates what he has as a tour player.

Between the time Goydos won his two PGA Tour victories, Tiger Woods won 60 times, prompting Goydos to tell Tiger to hurry up and win his next 60 so he could win his third.

The win Sunday was important to Sergio’s career but a victory would have changed Goydos’ life in a professional sense. A divorced father who is raising two teen-aged daughters, Goydos almost became famous Sunday.

“I felt like Tiger Woods for a day,” Goydos said in his press conference.

He deserves it.