John Daly just turned 50 and capitalised on the opportunity that this brought about, the Champions Tour. Described as “the biggest mulligan in golf,” the over 50 Tour has given Daly another roll of the dice.
Tributes flooded in as the eccentric legend celebrated the half century, Fuzzy Zoeller owed him $150,000 for still being alive, his 12-year-old son “Little John” imitated his party trick and the man himself shared an awesome Tiger Woods anecdote.
Daly finished his debut T-17, a respectable start for the man who admitted his form wasn’t where it needed to be going into this tournament. It looked like he was going to do something miraculous when he started Sunday with 4 birdies during his first 6 holes. Unfortunately a bogey on 7 and 8 and a triple on No. 17 dropped him out of the top 10. Jasper Parnevik would be the eventual winner, the eccentric Swede managed his first professional win in 15 years
“[Daly] is a needle mover. We need that out here. We need somebody that people want to come out and watch,” said Woody Austin. “They don’t want to come out and watch me. I understand that,” added last weeks winner.
Daly showcased some of that trademark ball striking. For the first round he hit an impressive 16 greens and averaged an even more impressive 317.5 yards off the tee. He finished the week with a driving average 50 yards farther than the Tour’s mean. If he can capitalise on his prodigious length we can expect to see him competing in the future.
— GOLF.com (@golf_com) May 6, 2016
What does he plan to do now?
“Just get home and work on the things I need to work on. My short and middle irons were actually pretty good. My 7-, 8-, and 9-irons were the ones that really hurt me today. But other than that, I mean, you know, putting is putting. Some weeks are good, some are bad. But, all in all, it was a good week.”
If a 59-year-old Tom Watson could finish 2nd in 2011, who knows what a “reformed” John Daly is capable of. Whether he has the mental fortitude to consistently post low scores remains to be seen, but his 70-73-71 this week was a good sign for those of us who love to see the “wild thing” doing his thing.