New York - Long-hitting John Daly celebrated his 50th birthday on Thursday, the
official stamp of approval to earn him a spot at next week's Insperity
Invitational at The Woodlands in Texas for his debut on the over-50s
A prodigious driver of the golf ball with a magician's touch around the
greens, the 'Wild Thing' has been one of the sport's biggest drawcards
since he turned professional in 1987 and is certain to attract fans in
droves on the seniors circuit.
Daly, a five-time winner on the regular PGA Tour where two of his
victories came in major championships, readily admits his game is in
rusty shape but he is eagerly looking forward to once again competing
against some of his long-time friends.
"It's a new chapter," Daly said in an interview with pgatour.com while
preparing for the May 6-8 Insperity Invitational. "It's going to be kind
of a year of testing the waters.
"I'm looking forward to it and seeing some of my old buddies out there.
Fuzzy (Zoeller) and Hubert Green were my favourites. Ben Crenshaw, Craig
Stadler. Tom Watson always took me under his wing.
"It's great that I'm going to be able to come out and play golf with them again."
Daly has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2004 Buick Invitational in
San Diego and has relied mainly on sponsor's invites in recent years to
play tournament golf.
"It's not good," he said when asked about his form. "I'm working on
everything. My driving is really, really good. It's just that my putting
really isn't where I want it to be. My wedges aren't really dialled in
"This has been a crazy seven years, just not being able to play as much
as I want to, not being able to get into many tournaments. So I'm going
to have really work my butt off to get it back."
Daly claimed his first major title at the 1991 PGA Championship after
finding out just a day before the tournament began that he would be
playing, then followed that with a victory at the British Open in 1995.
However, he has not won anywhere since 2004, has slipped steadily down
the rankings to 987 and has rarely been out of the headlines while
spending much of his adult life struggling with alcohol,
anti-depressants, gambling and divorces.