HONOLULU - Paul Goydos staged an unlikely rally 11 weeks ago just to keep his PGA Tour card. Sunday was even sweeter, with three birdies in the final four holes at the Sony Open for his first victory in 11 years.
Goydos closed with a 3-under 67 and made birdie on the last hole when his 25-foot chip banged into the pin and settled within tap-in range. Charles Howell III and Luke Donald tied for second, a stroke back.
"I never felt like I was going to win," said Goydos, who earned $936,000, more than he made all last year.
The tournament belonged to Howell for most of a sunny afternoon at Waialae until a sudden shift on the back nine, when Howell made back-to-back bogeys and Goydos made consecutive birdies.
Howell had a chance to force a playoff when his 5-iron from the rough came up 50 feet short of the green. His chip ran 15 feet past the pin, and the birdie putt never had a chance. He shot 70 for his seventh runner-up since his only victory in 2002.
Donald had an eagle chip on the par-5 18th that would have forced a playoff, but it hit the pin and spun away, leaving him with a 69.
Tadd Fujikawa, the 16-year-old who became the youngest player in 50 years to make a cut on the PGA Tour, finished his dream week with a birdie on the final hole for a 72, putting him in a tie for 20th.
"I never imagined myself doing this, especially at this age," Fujikawa said, who returns to the 10th grade on Tuesday.