Go to contents

PGA Tour: Daly Says, “It Is Not Over Yet”

Posted February. 15, 2004 23:29,   


Vijay Singh`s attempt to stay in the top 10 failed. Tiger Woods’ winning the championship effectively became impossible.

The PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational 2004, a $450 million tournament that was once seen to implode after losing all steam, has rekindled interest.

On February 15 in La Jolla, California, 37-year-old John Daly of the U.S., also known as the Wild Thing, scored a 4-under-par 68 in his third round for a three round total of 13-under-par 203, bringing his first PGA championship into his sights.

For Daly, who has been treated like an invalid after flirting with alcoholism after his 1995 British Open championship, the Buick Invitational was a chance to prove that he would be here to stay. After the third round, he said, revealing his championship ambitions, “It would prove to myself that it`s not over yet.” At the 18th fairway the crowd gasped and cheered as Daly launched a two-iron shot for 230 yards and landed it about 10 meters away from the hole cup. It showed his long shots are still good. Is his upward trend continuing into round four? Daly’s previous record and his performance in the tournament suggest that he will continue the upward trend and win the championship.

Among his four PGA championships, Daly took the lead beginning in the third round. Once he gets a chance, he never misses it with his great concentration power.

Unlike Singh who missed the cut by one shot with 144 even-pars, and Woods who came in 21st in the third round with a five under-par 68, Daly performed extremely well on the south course of the range, where he posted six birdies and no bogies in the second round, and an eagle and four underpars-68 in the third

During the past three days of the tournament, there were just two players who shot in the 60s: Daly (69-66-68) and Dennis Paulson (69-69-67). tewart Cink, who came in second, performed poorly in the first and third rounds on the southern course with 70 and 71 shots respectively. The championship playoff will likely reduce to a Daly-Paulson match.

In related news, Kevin Stadler who unexpectedly came in first in the first round, plunged to a tie for 36th with a three under-par-215. Choi Kyoung-ju, of Superior Tailor Made, also known as Tank, came in a joint 50th (one under-par 215) and Kevin Na of Kolon Eload came in 76th (three over-par-219).

Young-Sik Ahn ysahn@donga.com