Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Golf

Daly cards 10 at PGA's Tampa Bay Championship

PALM HARBOR — John Daly draws big crowds because anything is possible when he tees it up.

That was the case once again Friday when he made 10 on the par-4, third hole at the Tampa Bay Championship.

He hooked his drive into the trees but decided to try to chip out, which proved costly.

His second shot hit a tree and buried in some bushes.

"As soon as you make that decision," he told the Associated Press, "you can't go back to the tee."

After a penalty drop, his fourth shot hit another tree. He hit his fifth shot but was unable to advance the ball, so he had to take another penalty drop. His seventh made the rough, and his eighth landed 30 yards short of the green. Then came a chip shot that landed a foot from the hole.

"Beautiful chip," Daly told AP.

It was the 15th time Daly carded 10 or higher on a hole in a PGA Tour event. He went from 2 over to 8 over and finished at 81, failing to make the cut.

This isn't the first time he made headlines in a PGA Tour event at Innisbrook. In 2008, after a rain delay at the PODS Championship, he used former Bucs coach Jon Gruden as his caddy. Daly was widely criticized for that move and at the start of the 2009 season he was given a six-month suspension for bad conduct by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.

Sponsor update: EverBank president Blake Wilson has been at Innisbrook since Wednesday. His company signed on as presenting sponsors just weeks before the start of the tournament. It's a one year deal and lets EverBank advertise throughout the course.

It is not a title sponsor, however. The tournament lost Transitions Optical when its four-year contract ran out last year. Getting EverBank to step up as a title sponsor is a priority for the tour, but Wilson said they will wait before making a decision.

"We will spend this week making the tournament the best that it can be," he said. "After that we will step back and reflect on what it means for the company, the impact it will have for us and in the community, and make a decision from there."

Scott stays hot: Adam Scott entered this week's tourney oozing confidence. He is coming off a tie for third at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral last week that included 64 in his final round. This season, Scott has two top-10 finishes in his three tournaments.

He credits his good start to a January chipping practice session at his home course in Australia, Sanctuary Cove.

"I just kept working at it and one day there was a bit of a breakthrough," said Scott, who played a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National with longtime friend Ernie Els. "Everything started falling into place. Somehow I've managed to keep that going for a couple months. It's reassuring to know that you don't have to hit a perfect shot every time. You can go for it a little bit and your short game will be there.

"I'm very comfortable with where every part of my game is."

Heeeere's … Gary: NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller is taking this week off so Tampa's Gary Koch is filling in as the lead analyst this weekend. Miller will return next week when the tour travels up Interstate 4 for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando.

Chip ins: Defending champ Luke Donald was even through two rounds and tied for 32nd. … Daniel Summerhays holed out a chip from 16 yards on 18 to get to 2 over and make the cut. … Three former champions, Gary Woodland (2011), Carl Pettersson (2005) and two-time winner Retief Goosen (2003 and '09), failed to make the cut.

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