With no TOUR card and no status, the Fall Series could prove valuable for John Daly, who is looking to work his way back to the PGA TOUR full time for the first time since 2006.
Thanks to a 63 Friday at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, he’ll enter the weekend seeking something even bigger: his first win in eight years.
Daly round was his lowest on TOUR since the 2007 Frys.com Open and only one stroke off his career best. He made eight birdies, an eagle and two bogeys as he took just 23 putts after hitting 13 greens in regulation.
“I was kind of a little worried after the first day,” said Daly, who is 10 under through two rounds and playing for the first time in 6 weeks. “Today I hit the ball really well and I putted good the last two days, which is good for me.”
Daly went out in 30 and for the week is averaging just 1.5 putts per green in regulation and has picked up more than 3 strokes per round in strokes gained-putting.
“If you make some putts you can play really well,” Daly said. “This course gives you a lot more opportunities than most courses.”
This week’s Wyndham Championship marks the final opportunity for players to move inside the top 125 in FedExCup points and reserve their spot in the FedExCup Playoffs, which begin next week at The Barclays.
Starting with the No. 126 player in points (Brendan Steele) going into this week, 44 of the next 55 players in points are playing at Sedgefield. Notables such as Retief Goosen (127th) and Stewart Cink (135th) are not in the field, meaning they will not make the Playoffs this year.
Here’s a look at some of the notables currently outside the top 125 who are playing this week. Which one do you think has the best chance of having a good week and moving inside the top 125?
||Y.E. Yang||129th||Made the Playoffs the previous three years, finishing 30th last year. But he hasn’t had a top-10 finish in 19 starts this year.|
||Gary Woodland||130th||A year ago, he was ninth in FedExCup points, which essentially clinched his spot for the TOUR Championship. But like Yang, he doesn’t have a top-10 finish (18 starts) this year, has battled injuries and has just two sub-par rounds in his last 21 rounds.|
||John Daly||137th||Has never made the Playoffs, but he’s making a late charge this year. He’s move up 26 spots in the last two weeks thanks to a T5 (at Reno-Tahoe) and a T18 (at PGA Championship).|
||Stuart Appleby||142nd||Has made the Playoffs in four of the first five years but has just one top-10 finish on TOUR since shooting that 59 in the final round to win The Greenbrier Classic in 2010.|
||Camilo Villegas||146th||Villegas has always come up big in the Playoffs – he’s had at least one top-10 finish in every year, and has 10 top-10s (in 18 starts) overall, including two wins in 2008. But his best finish this year has been a T18 in New Orleans.|
||Justin Leonard||157th||Last year was the first time Leonard had missed the Playoffs and he’s in danger again. But he comes off a T5 at Reno-Tahoe, his best finish of the year.|
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- At a hefty 6-foot-7, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice is figuratively and literally larger than life, which is why Tiger Woods and John Daly have decided to help try to extend his.
“I told him I’d give him $100 for every pound he loses, to any charity he wants,” Daly said after a final-round 65. “Tiger said he’d do it, too. We care about him. If we could get him to lose some weight and add about 30-40 years to his life, he’ll be happy. It’s time somebody did something for him after him always doing something for everybody else.”
Daly told Justice of the plan when the two saw each other Sunday morning.
“He’s just got the biggest heart of any man I’ve ever known,” Daly continued. “I just want him to know that we all care about him. Every year I talk to him, his back is hurting him, and his knees are hurting him. I can get to my doctor and help him lose a ton of weight. He’ll feel better. We just want to help him. We want to add years to his life.”
Earlier this week, Justice extended the life of this tournament announcing a contract extension with the PGA TOUR through 2021.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- The goal for John Daly is simple: To get his PGA TOUR card back.
With only past champion status, it’s an uphill battle at best. Sunday, he took a step in the right direction.
Daly shot a 65 in the final round of The Greenbrier Classic, where he recorded his best finish of the season.
It was the second straight start on the PGA TOUR that Daly played well. He tied for 19th last month at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where he closed with a 64.
Daly has made only six starts on TOUR this year. The rest of his season has been spent on the European Tour, where he’s also made six starts. His best finish on that Tour was 11th at the Sicilian Open in April. He also finished 24th in the Irish Open earlier this month.
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- John Daly is still five shots off the lead, but he’s doing what he can to get in contention at The Greenbrier Classic, where he’s 4 under through his first nine holes and 9 under for the tournament.
It’s been a while since Daly has won -- 2004 at the Buick Invitational -- and this is just his sixth start of the year on the PGA TOUR since his only status is as a past champion.
Right now, he’s making the most of it, having hit all but one fairway and one green in regulation so far.
He’s not the only one making an early move.
Kevin Na is 3 under through seven holes and tied with Daly.
Meanwhile, Webb Simpson maintains his one-shot lead for now. He’ll tee off at 1:50 p.m. ET.
John Daly rolls in a long birdie putt on the 10th hole at the FedEx St. Jude Classic on Thursday.