Daly shoots 70 in Champions debut
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — John Daly shot a 2-under 70 on Friday in his PGA Tour Champions debut, leaving him four strokes behind leader Mike Goodes in the Insperity Invitational.
Daly had four birdies and two bogeys at The Woodlands Country Club, playing alongside friend Fuzzy Zoeller and Peter Jacobsen. The two-time major champion turned 50 on April 28.
"It was like starting all over," Daly said. "The nerves were good, but it's cool coming out here and having positive nerves, and I just fed off Fuzzy and Jake. You know, I couldn't have asked to play with two better people. For my first round on the Champions Tour, we just had a blast."
Daly was in a nine-man tie for 12th. He hit 13 of 14 fairways, 16 of 18 greens in regulation and topped the field with a driving average of 317.5 yards on the two measuring holes.
"I was surprised how good I hit the ball," Daly said. "I mean, I hit a lot of fairways, and that 1-iron was a blessing today for me. Even when I didn't hit it good, it was going in the fairway, and I gave myself a lot of chances, a lot of chances to hit greens and a lot of opportunities."
Daly parred the first six holes, bogeyed the par-4 seventh and rebounded with birdies on the par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth. He added birdies on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th, had a bogey on the par-3 14th and closed with four pars.
"I just couldn't get the putter to make anything," Daly said. "But I rolled it good, and for me that's what mattered today, is just hitting the ball solid and getting it around, and I didn't shoot myself out of the tournament."
The 59-year-old Goodes bogeyed the par-4 18th for a 66. He made four straight birdies on Nos. 13-16.
PGA: At Charlotte, N.C., Andrew Loupe took a one-stroke lead over Roberto Castro at 8 under at the Wells Fargo Championship, while Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler were close behind heading into the weekend.
Loupe shot a 1-under 71 on Friday, an up-and-down round with four birdies and three bogeys. Castro had a 66 for the best round of the day. He eagled No. 18, one of the toughest closing holes on the PGA Tour.
Chesson Hadley and Mark Hubbard were two shots back. Hadley had a 67, and Hubbard shot 68.
Fowler shot a 68, and Mickelson had a 70 to reach 5 under.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final two holes for a 69 to drop six strokes back.
LPGA: At Prattville, Ala., So Yeon Ryu birdied five of her last eight holes for a bogey-free 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead in the windy Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
Ranked 10th in the world but sixth in the race for the four spots on South Korea's Olympic team, Ryu made three straight birdies on Nos. 2-4 and added two more on the par-4 sixth and par-5 eighth.