Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Golf

John Daly familiar with Tampa Bay Championship course

PALM HARBOR — Fresh off a tie for 50th at the Puerto Rico Open on Sunday, crowd favorite John Daly was on Innisbrook's Copperhead Course on Monday for the Chi Chi Rodriguez Pro Am. A Clearwater resident who is playing on a sponsor's exemption, Daly is the unofficial host of this week's Tampa Bay Championship.

He is a member at Belleair Country Club but plays the Copperhead several times a year.

"It's a weird golf course in a way that's great," Daly said. "It gives you a chance to be aggressive, but it's very penal if you don't hit the fairways. There's a few holes you can take advantage of, but not many. The smarter you are off the tee, the better you will score. You shoot 2 or 3 under par out there every day and you can win."

The only time Daly, 46, won at Innisbrook was 1999 when he teamed with Laura Davies to win the JCPenney Classic. Since it became a PGA event in 2000, Daly's best finish in 10 appearances was last year, when he tied for 51st.

The last time he won any event was the 2004 Buick Invitational. But crowds still gather to see Daly hit it a mile in his colorful attire, chain smoking and chatting with the gallery the whole way around.

Daly says he's not in tournaments just to be a side show. He thinks there are some wins left.

"When you get a little older you doubt yourself a little bit, but I still feel like I can win," Daly said. "I wouldn't still be trying to play if I didn't think I could win. I've always said that I don't win a lot of golf tournaments, but when I do it sure is sweet. It might be eight or nine years apart, but it sure is gratifying. I'd love to win two or three a year like Tiger (Woods) did for a while, but I feel that every time I tee it up, John Daly can win. That's why I keep going along."

A major would be nice: Luke Donald knows he can win. He has done it five times on the PGA Tour, including last year's Transitions Championship at Innisbrook. What Donald, 35, hasn't done is win a major.

With the Masters looming in three weeks, Donald is trying to tweak his game before Augusta.

"I need to do a better job of competing and having chances to win majors," Donald said. "That part of my resume is lacking."

Past champs return: There have been 10 different winners of the tournament since 2000. Eight return for the 2013 event: Donald (2012), Gary Woodland (2011), Jim Furyk (2010), Retief Goosen (2009, '03), Sean O'Hair (2008), K.J. Choi (2006, '02), Carl Petterson (2005) and Vijay Singh (2004). John Huston (2000) and Mark Calcavecchia (2007) are the only past champions not in the tournament.

MONDAY QUALIFIERS: Pasco County's Tim Petrovic and David Branshaw shot 66 to qualify for the tournament. Andy Pope shot 67 and survived a playoff to grab the third spot.

Today: There are no official events set for today. Professional practice rounds will be played throughout the day. Admission is free.

Comments
O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

O’Hair-Stricker team wins QBE Shootout in Naples

NAPLES — Steve Stricker provided the pep talk and Sean O’Hair delivered the shot to secure victory Sunday in the QBE Shootout. Stricker and O’Hair closed with 8-under 64 for a two-shot victory over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry, effectively clinchi...
Published: 12/10/17
Rory McIlroy to make Valspar Championship debut at Innisbrook next year

Rory McIlroy to make Valspar Championship debut at Innisbrook next year

The Valspar Championship will get a notable boost in star power next year.Four-time major winner and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy will play the PGA Tour event at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor for the first time, the tournament announced Friday after i...
Published: 12/08/17
Rickie Fowler rallies to win, Tiger Woods finishes strong at Hero World Challenge

Rickie Fowler rallies to win, Tiger Woods finishes strong at Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, Bahamas — Rickie Fowler was the first player to offer a scouting report on Tiger Woods ahead of his return to golf, hinting that Woods was hitting it "way by" him in some of their matches in Florida. Fowler’s own game apparently was in pretty...
Published: 12/03/17
Tiger falls behind as Charley Hoffman leads Hero World Challenge

Tiger falls behind as Charley Hoffman leads Hero World Challenge

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods fell behind early and never recovered. Charley Hoffman pulled away late and made himself hard to beat. Hoffman handled the blustery conditions in the Hero World Challenge on Saturday for 2-under 70, one of only five roun...
Published: 12/02/17

Tiger brings the buzz back by taking lead but falters on back nine

NASSAU, Bahamas — One of the biggest cheers at the Hero World Challenge came from seeing the name Tiger Woods moved to the top of the leaderboard. It just wasn’t there for long. In another impressive showing in his latest comeback from back surgeries...
Published: 12/01/17
Tiger Woods returns from layoff with solid round in Bahamas

Tiger Woods returns from layoff with solid round in Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas — Tiger Woods looked a lot better in his return to golf than he did when he left. Playing for the first time since his fourth back surgery, Woods returned from a 10-month layoff with 3-under 69 on a breezy Thursday that left him three...
Published: 11/30/17
Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much. She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money ...
Updated one month ago

Rookie Sung Hyun Park continues to roll at LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Golf felt so easy to Sung Hyun Park that only when she took out her card to catch up on her scores did she realize she had closed out the front nine with five straight birdies Friday at the Tour Championship. Park kept right on attacking. Th...
Updated one month ago