Only two players shot better scores than Paul Goydos on Saturday at the TPC Twin Cities, but after a bogey-free 7-under second round, Goydos still finished the day outside the top 10 overall.
Goydos’ low score put him in the middle of a crammed 3M Championship leaderboard that features 25 players within four shots of one another: three at 9 under, four at 8 under, 10 at 7 under and eight at 6 under. Leader Kenny Perry, at 14-under 130, sits four strokes ahead of Kevin Sutherland and Scott Dunlap.
Several players took advantage of course and weather conditions Saturday that Goydos called “almost too good,” after harsh winds on Friday kept most players around even par. Three players, including Goydos, went from even par to 7 under, and four players went from 1 under to 7 under. Forty-eight players shot scores in the 60s.
“I knew I needed to play well to at least get back into some resemblance of competitiveness,” Goydos said. “I need to do similar, probably even better, tomorrow.”
Goydos, who shot a 12-under 59 in the first round of the John Deere Classic in 2010 — won by Steve Stricker, who opened with a 60 — said playing conditions were the best they’ve been all week. He birdied six holes between Nos. 2 and 11.
“It was almost like negative wind,” Goydos said. “[In these conditions], you get a perfect lie every fairway. Every green is perfect.”
John Cook was one of the players who improved by six strokes to 7 under. He sank birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 16.
“You never know, you can shoot some low scores out here, especially with the wind like it was today,” said Cook, part of the crowded pack tied for 11th. “ … Yesterday was just tough. Eight under par yesterday [from Tom Lehman] was an incredible round. Today, at least you could hear yourself think a little bit. Yesterday was such a battle.”
Guy Boros finished Saturday with the second-best round of the day, at 8-under 64 — after Perry’s 11 under — but still sits tied for 21st.
Even the tournament’s two local players got in on the hot scoring. Brooklyn Park’s Don Berry shot 67 after playing even par Friday and is tied for 29th. Minneapolis native John Harris shot 65 and is tied for 45th at 3-under 141. Tom Pernice Jr. had a bogey-free 67 and is at 4-under 140.
Cook said he needs to shoot at least 6 or 7 under par to be in contention Sunday. .
“It can be done,” Cook said. “You can’t slip up anywhere, and if you play efficient, you can do it.”