Reporting from Pebble Beach — It's not that Paul Goydos wouldn't need to squint into the distance with his hand above his eyebrows to track the drives of Dustin Johnson.
There's just no point.
Goydos is 5 feet 9, 45 years old, has gray hair and lines on his face. His game is full of angles and thought, and his goal is not to swat a golf ball as far as possible.
Johnson is 25, 6 feet 4, and his face is clear of even a worry line around the eyes. Johnson talked about what holes at Pebble Beach he'll keep the driver in the bag because, well, he can hit it far enough without the big club.
Yet Goydos and Johnson will play together Sunday in the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. They are tied for the lead after three rounds at 196, 18 under par.
That is four shots clear of the rest of the field, with Bryce Molder, J.B. Holmes and Matt Jones tied for third.
David Duval, who had started the day a shot behind Johnson, is tied for seventh at 12 under. The highest-ranked golfer in the field, No. 3 Phil Mickelson, is tied for 13th at 10 under and concedes he would need to shoot a 61 or 62 Sunday and might still need a little luck to contend.
Everybody has now played a round at Spyglass Hill, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club and Pebble Beach. The field left after the cut was made Saturday (which will not include John Daly, Mark O'Meara or Davis Love III) will play the Pebble Beach course that will stage the U.S. Open this summer.
It was almost like a summer day Saturday. The sun was out, the sea gulls were honking and waves were slamming noisily against the rocks. About 75 miles north of here at Half Moon Bay, at the world-famous Mavericks surf contest, waves were so high that spectators were knocked from rocks and hospitalized. Goydos called those waves "angry."
Conditions on the courses were a bit more sedate.
Johnson opened his round of 64 at Spyglass with an eagle and had a chance to tie the course record, but for a three-putt bogey on his final hole. Goydos played Pebble Beach and birdied two of his last three holes for his own 64.
This week Johnson has been averaging 305.4 yards per drive while Goydos is averaging 256.8. Goydos said he will not bother to be envious when he and Johnson begin each hole. "I've got to do things differently than he does," Goydos said. "He's got to do things differently than I do."
Three times in his career Goydos has led or been tied for the lead going into a final round. Twice he finished second, once he finished ninth. His reaction to being on top of this leaderboard?
"I'm very surprised," he said. "When that happens to me I guess that feeling will never go away. Tomorrow we'll see what happens. I'll see if my game can stand up."
Johnson has had at least a part of the lead here every round, and that, along with his win here last year in a rain-shortened event, gave him good reasons to say, "I'm feeling very confident."
Goydos, who played college golf at Long Beach State and lives now in Dove Canyon, said he is long past the point where he compares himself to a big hitter such as Johnson.
"If you're going to talk about Sergio [Garcia] or Phil or Tiger [Woods]," Goydos said, "there is a talent gap. I don't think there's any question. The key for me is, the shorter the tournament becomes . . . that's the key."
And where does Johnson rank in this talent comparison?
"He's won twice in two years," Goydos said. "I've won twice in 18. He's definitely off to a better start than I had."