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Goydos joins the 59 club at John Deere Classic

After four months of pretty lousy play on the PGA Tour, Paul Goydos managed to turn things around just a bit - he shot a 59 in the opening round of the John Deere Classic at the TPC Deere Run course in Silvis, Ill.

"Today was a nuclear bomb," Goydos said. "I don't know where it came from. If I knew that, I wouldn't be able to touch it."

Perhaps just as amazing, Goydos led by only one stroke. Defending champion Steve Stricker shot a 60 - and just missed tying Goydos on the last hole.

Goydos hasn't had a top 40 finish since early May. "I've been very good at playing poorly now for the last 10 tournaments or so," Goydos said.

Yesterday Goydos became only the fourth player in tour history to shoot a 59.

Al Geiberger was the first, in the second round of the 1977 Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club. Chip Beck shot 59 in the third round of the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational at Sunrise Golf Course. David Duval shot 59 on the Palmer Course of PGA West in the final round to win the 1999 Bob Hope Classic. Goydos is the first to shoot 59 on a par 71. The others came on par 72s.

Goydos birdied every hole on the back nine (he had 12 birdies in all) except for No. 15, where he holed a 6-foot par putt to keep alive his hopes. He finished off with three birdies, the last one from 7 feet to join the most exclusive club in golf. "It's almost a mythical number in our game," Goydos said.

Lang leads Women's Open

Temperatures were in the 90s. Michelle Wie was in the 80s. On a demanding day when Oakmont Country Club illustrated that playing par golf can be an achievement, only Brittany Lang shot a 2-under 69 to take a one-shot lead over 2008 champion Inbee Park, amateur Kelli Shean and three others in the first round of the U.S. Women's Open. Wie shot an 11-over 82. She dropped seven shots to par during a tournament-ruining stretch from No. 14-17 that occurred on her front nine. - AP


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