John Daly, like many pro golfers, travels all around the world to play in tournaments. In the last eight months alone, he's played in events in at least 10 different countries.
Last week in finishing tied for ninth at the RBC Canadian Open, Daly played for the third consecutive week in three different countries (having missed the cut at the John Deere Classic and the British Open in the previous two weeks).
Now he's back on American soil at this week's The Greenbrier Classic, where he will play the first two rounds with Sergio Garcia and Davis Love III in one of the notable groups at the Old White TPC course.
Daly doesn't mind flashing a bit of patriotism in his attire. Here's a look at some of his recent flag-inspired golf pants ( all photos from Getty Images).
For John Daly, success doesn’t necessarily come in winning. At least it didn’t at the RBC Canadian Open, where he got his first top-10 finish since 2005 with a tie for ninth after a 72 on Sunday.
”It's been a struggle,” Daly said of his last few years. “You cannot play good golf out here when you're hurt.”
Daly said his groin bothered him this week but that overall everything felt pretty good. That’s especially true of the positives Daly will take from the week.
“Oh, a ton, a ton,” he said. “There's no doubt about it. I love the way I chipped the last two days. Under the heat today, I know I was kind of out of it there with four or five holes to go. But I made one heck of a par on 15, 17 and 18.
“I got them down a lot today. Probably in the past I would have shot an 80 or 82 today.”
Instead, Daly played well enough to finish at even par for the week -- something he’s done only three other times in 13 previous starts this season.
Bo Van Pelt is nearing the turn and still leading, but he now he has company in Kris Blanks, who just birdied the ninth hole to pull even with Van Pelt at 5 under. Van Pelt, meanwhile, has played his first eight holes in even par.
This isn’t a U.S. Open, but it’s sure played like one with a premium on par -- John Daly said Saturday the rough is similar to that of the U.S. Open and the greens similar to a PGA Championship.
As for who else is in contention, Sean O’Hair just made the turn in 2 under and is within one at 4 under for the week. After that there’s some separation with three others at 1 under -- John Daly and Geoff Ogilvy are among that group.
Meanwhile, Canadian Adam Hadwin’s hopes appear to be dashed. He’s 4 over through eight holes after two bogeys and a double bogey through eight holes. He’s now back to even par and five strokes back.
After blocking his tee shot way right and making bogey on the opening hole, Bo Van Pelt has since bounced back with a birdie on the par-4 fourth, where he rolled in a 9-footer on the 418-yard hole. That puts Van Pelt up by two and back to 5 under, but there are still plenty of players close behind him on what’s already been a difficult day of scoring.
Just how tough has the scoring been? Only seven players, including Van Pelt, are under par for the tournament.
One of them is John Daly, who is 1 over through five holes here in the final round but still just four shots off the lead. Daly of course hasn’t won since 2004 and hasn’t been in contention since a pair of runner-up finishes in 2005. But he’s been bombing his way around Shaughnessy pretty well.
One thing to keep an eye on: Daly has played the back nine at Shaughnessy extremely well with nine birdies and just one bogey (actually a triple bogey). If he can survive the front nine without any more bogeys, he could make a run on the back. Click here to follow Daly live .
It’s been a long time since John Daly has been in this position, in contention going into the final round. But that’s what he’s in after a 3-under 67 Saturday at Shaughnessy G&CC, where Daly is seeking his first win since 2004.
On a course where accuracy off the tee is paying off for Chad Campbell, Daly has somehow managed to bomb-and-gouge his way into the hunt. Saturday, Daly just 57 percent of his fairways, but he did manage to hit nearly 80 percent of his greens.
At one point, Daly made four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine before finishing with five birdies and just two bogeys. And it was because he hit driver most of the day that he was able to set up those opportunities.
“If you do lay-up, you can't get to the green on your approach shots at all,” Daly said. “Some of the par-4s are so long you have to drive it. You've just got to attack. I mean, it's the only way you can do it.”
As for Daly trying to win for the first time in seven years, he’s trying to not let himself think about that.
“It would be nice, but it's so hard you're thinking more about the golf course,” Daly said. “It would be great of course. I just know it's not where you can say, okay, that's six holes. I screw up a little bit and I can make eagle on that. You can't do that out here. Every hole is just too hard.”
Competitive is something Daly has struggled to be. With limited status, he’s made just 14 starts this year and made the cut in five of them. His best finish was a tie for 65th at Torrey Pines.
Daly also hasn’t had a top-10 on TOUR since 2005 when he had a pair of runner-up finishes that year. But with recent weight loss and rounds like Saturday’s, Daly is feeling good about himself.
“I have so much more energy,” he said. “It’s a new me and hopefully it pays off.”
With Shaughnessy G&CC stifling scoring, it doesn’t take make much to make a move on the leaderboard. Case in point: Chad Campbell, who just eagled the par-5 seventh to get to 5 under and two shots clear.
The eagle for Campbell came when the Texan hit it to just over 11 feet and then made the putt on No. 7.
The other name moving up the leaderboard: John Daly, who is 3 under through 15 holes and 2 under for the tournament.
Daly, who isn’t exactly known as a fairways and greens guy, has hit just half his fairways here in the third round, but he’s also hit 80 percent of his greens. The result for Daly: Four birdies in his last five holes. In all, he has five birdies and just two bogeys to put himself in contention.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
How did John Daly make a 13 on the par-4 fourth hole Friday?
“Two‑putted,” he said. “[Had a] 20‑footer for 12.”
The trouble for Daly started when he heeled his tee shot and hit it well to the right on the hole.
“I really was hoping they wouldn't find it so I'd have to go back to the tee,” said Daly, whose ball was found by a spectator in the thick rough.
He then hit it a couple of times, took an unplayable, couldn’t get it out, took another unplayable and then was able to hit it far enough back to the left where he could take a drop.
Daly then hit it into the bunker left of the green, hit onto the green and two-putted.
At first Daly jokingly told his playing partner Todd Hamilton to put him down for an 18, which would have been the second such score of Daly’s career (the other came in 1998 at Bay Hill). Then Daly started counting and came up with 11 before figuring it out to be a 13 ( click here to replay the hole and his round ).
“I just lost track there for a while,” Daly said.
Up until that point, Daly had a good round going at 2 under through 12 holes. He then went on to bogey three of his next four holes and shot 81 to finish his week at 11 over.
“I just hit a horrible swing on 4,” he said. “Just a heel shank. I deserved it.”
Apparently Daly had jokingly told his playing partner, Todd Hamilton, to put him down for an 18. No cameras were on scene to record the action, however, and it’s possible the score may again be revised.
The trouble began for Daly when he hit his tee shot well to the right and into the rough. From there, he struggled to advance the ball, hitting it no more than a few feet until eventually taking a drop. After that, he hit into a greenside bunker before reaching the green and two-putting.
The 13 dropped Daly from 2 under on his round to 7 over before he bogeyed three of his next four holes to close in 45 and finish with an 81.
Friday was not the first time Daly recorded a high number -- he had an 18 in 1998 at Bay Hill.
It’s also not the single-highest score on a hole on the PGA TOUR this season. That honor goes to Kevin Na, who recorded a 16 on a hole during the Valero Texas Open.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
Count John Daly among those who wasn’t bothered by the heat in Memphis Thursday. Of course Daly lived in the area for 19 years so he’s used to it, even if he has spent some of his season playing in Europe.
“The heat helps,” Daly said. “You get older, you don't know which bone is going to crack when you get 45. Every time you swing, it pops out.
“Europe is great, but it's just cold all the time, I never get loose.”
Daly was plenty loose Thursday, making six birdies (and five bogeys) on his way to shooting 1-under 69 that leaves him in good position.
The second round, of course, will be key for Daly. He’s played in nine PGA TOUR event this year but made the cut in just two of them. Of those nine starts, Daly has opened with a 70 or better six times.
But Daly is happy with his position and his game heading into the second round at a familiar course.
“It was a good ball striking day,” Daly said. “Good to make some birdies.”