Pro Tees Off In Trainers After Gaining PGA Tour Entry With Two Minutes Notice

Argentinian pro Tano Goya was given just two minutes notice to tee it up in Las Vegas so didn't even have time to put on his golf shoes

Tano Goya hits a fairway wood shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While many casual golfers have had to race to the first tee and hit their opening drive in a bit of a rush, not many will have done so at a PGA Tour event like Argentinian Tano Goya after his late entry into this week's Shriners Children’s Open

Korn Ferry graduate Goya was given just two minutes notice that he had made it into the event, and was in such a rush he had to hit his opening tee shot in his trainers before changing into his golf shoes – yet still shot three-under. 

“I put my clothes on, and they called me saying, you're up in two minutes,” Goya said as he recalled his strangest of days in golf.  

“So I didn't have time to have breakfast, didn't have time to put my shoes on. I hit the first tee shot with my trainers. It was funny, no practice at all or anything.” 

The 34-year-old was on the alternate list, but since he was in Las Vegas felt his luck could be in so pitched up at TPC Summerlin at 5.30am in case any of the field had to withdraw late on. 

Matt Kuchar had an injury concern, but it was Peter Malnati who couldn't make it at late notice, as Goya’s caddie stalked the tee boxes looking for any no-shows. 

“It was weird because I had the feeling that I was going to get in somehow,” Goya added. “Obviously I heard that Matt Kuchar was struggling with his knee, so I was like maybe I have a chance.”  

When the chance finally arrived, it came too quickly for Goya to even change into his shoes, but he was saved by a tournament official – even though he did come back with the wrong ones. 

“I asked one of the rules officials if they could get my shoes,” Goya recalled. “It's not the right shoes. I have black ones as well, but they were inside my bag. I said just grab whatever you see in the locker, and he grabbed my shoes. I changed them in the middle of the 10th fairway.” 

After such a frantic morning, to follow it up with such a solid round of golf takes some doing. 

“Shooting three-under after what happened today is a bonus. I was confident that I was going to get in. So I did a great preparation Tuesday and Wednesday, and I felt good about my game. So I hit it pretty good.” 

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.