THE WOODLANDS (Texas) • John Daly ended a 13-year golf drought when he posted his first victory on the 50-and-over Champions Tour on Sunday, a one-stroke triumph at the Insperity Invitational in Texas.
Cutting an unmistakable figure in red, white and blue American flag pants, Daly tapped in his winning putt from one inch to finish at 14-under 202 and earn US$322,500 (S$452,800) at The Woodlands outside Houston.
"It's awesome," the American told the Golf Channel after being doused in champagne on the 18th green. "Hey, a win's a win. I hung in there and did the best I could. It wasn't pretty at the end but I got it done. That's all that matters."
He edged out compatriots Kenny Perry and Tommy Armour III by a stroke.
Daly, nicknamed "Wild Thing" by the British tabloids in the 1990s due to his hard-partying lifestyle, won five times on the PGA Tour, including two Major championships, the 1991 PGA and 1995 British Open.
He was the longest hitter in the game for the first part of his career, in an era before metal-headed drivers became commonplace. Now 51, he became eligible for the Champions Tour last April. He had not won on the PGA Tour since t he 2004 Buick Invitational.
Daly, who made his Champions Tour debut at the Insperity last year, becomes the 12th member of the senior Tour to record a win on all three PGA Tour circuits - the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Champions (for golfers aged 50 and above) and the Web.com Tour (for professional players who have not yet qualified to play on the PGA Tour).
"Now, I can say I'm a champion on the Champions Tour, which is really cool," Daly said. "Hopefully, I can keep this confidence going."
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE