I’d Hate to be Paul Goydos’s dog!

An angry Paul Goydos approaches the 15th tee box during the 2nd round of the 2010 Bob Hope Classic Golf Tournament Friday afternoon. (iso 800 1/1000sec @ f4.0 300mm lens)

On a wet and damp Friday at the 2010 Bob Hope Classic golf tournament, my photo assignment changed.  Due to the massive rain which caused play to be delayed for 24 hours, the amateurs were forced to become spectators for the day.  Therefore, I was assigned to photograph every pro on the PGA West Nicklaus Private course.  My friend, mentor and colleague, Jim Ruebsamen, and I headed out to find a hole where I would sit at the tee box and he would hover over the green.  This way, we would get a tee shot of every pro and some green shots too.  We landed at hole #15.  The tee box is raised a little bit and unlike many other holes on the course, there were no ropes around to keep people away.  I nestled myself into a spot below the tee box off to the right of the golfers, out of their line of sight and far enough away to not present a distraction.  From that angle I could also photograph the 14th green and get more shots of the action.  The entire day was pretty typical with several of the pro’s interacting with me on their way to and from their tee shots.  Those who didn’t interact or give me eye contact, I have learned to leave them be and just photograph them.  The conditions were ideal for these professional golfers, as they didn’t have to lug around 3 amateurs who slow down play and can distract the focus of the pros.  On top of that, the pro’s got to play with one other pro as opposed to the typical 3-some found in every non-pro-am event.  Finally, the players who went off after 11:40 am got the advantage of playing under scattered sun, little wind and little to no rain.  Ideal conditions as the heavy rains softened the greens creating strong possibilities of low rounds.  Around 2:30 the 3rd to last duo consisting of J.P. Hayes and Martin Flores came through the 14th hole and onto the tee box at 15.  Both players smiled, interacted and talked to me, asking how I was doing.  This, even though Mr. Flores, missed a short birdie put on 14.  As they hit their tee shots, there was a little distraction as a shot from the group behind them went off course and ended up in the water.  I turned my attention to the 14th hole and watched as Paul Goydos and D.J. Trahan finish their putts.  Mr. Goydos, on his way to the 15th tee, went inside the white hospitality tent to get a drink.  As he disappeared into the covered area, you could hear him get loud and toss several curse words.  Who they were directed at, if anyone, I could not tell.  As Mr. Goydos walked up the cart path to the 15th tee, I got two photographs of  him, just like every other pro during the day.  (See picture above.)  As he walked by me, Mr. Goydos commented angrily, “You are supposed to be within one arm length of the yellow rope.”  Stunned by his correct but anal quoting of the rules, I wasn’t sure if he was messing around with me, until he followed the comment up with a strong handed, “RIGHT?”  Since there were no yellow ropes around, I knew he was taking his frustration out on me, the powerless person.  Instead of arguing with him or making any contradictory statement, I replied, “Yes sir,” and moved three steps to the left.  My initial thoughts were classic smack talk responses, including thinking of how I wonder if he ever goes a few miles above the speed limit when driving.  Something against the laws, yet within a certain amount, acceptable by many officers most of the time.   After he took his tee shot & walked past me, another marshal, the one in charge of monitoring the hole for the tournament, approached me shocked and made a comment of how Goydos must be having a horrible round.  I was angry but kept telling myself to try and be understanding before passing judgement.  Come to find out, Goydos shot 3-under-par for the round, A decent number by most standards, and for him, a career 71.4 scoring average, a great one.  I then started to think about how bad attitudes and immature reactions to ones own mediocre talent is not relegated to any specific class of people.  Considering Mr. Goydos averages 1.1 million dollars a year by making an average of only 13 cuts in 23 tournaments during the golf season, I would figure gratitude and appreciation would be his prevailing attitude, like the vast majority of players on the tour who are polite and respectful.  All aspects of the media help bring people and dollars to sporting events allowing for higher salaries and larger prize monies.  If the average person working a 9-5 job failed their assigned duties 10 out of 23 times and was mediocre the other 13 times, I guarantee, they’d be fired or on the chopping block.  Mr. Goydos should accept his talent level and the fact that he makes a wonderful living as a bottom feeder grabbing the leftovers the big names such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and numerous others not named Paul Goydos have helped to create.  Considering the highest 2009 OWGR (Official World Golf Rating) player in this year’s Bob Hope Classic is Mike Weir, ranked 39th, and noticing Goydos, with his 98 ranking, is struggling to muster a tie for 39th place after 2 rounds, I realized that in the end I’m glad to be me and only have to witness his mis-directed anger one time during the tournament.  I chuckled to myself on the way back to the clubhouse and told my fellow photographer Jim, that I’d hate to be Paul Goydos’s dog.  FORE Fido….

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~ by visualviscosity on January 22, 2010.

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