RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – With many of golf’s stars competing at Doral this week, it makes for an interesting mix of young and old at the Puerto Rico Open. John Daly is here, and he played well on Friday in the wind at Trump International Golf Club – Puerto Rico, with only an errant drive on his closing hole likely costing him a position inside the top 10 heading into the weekend.
A bogey at the par-5 18th, where a pulled drive took a bad kick and caromed into the edge of the hazard, left Daly with a round of 2-under 70, moving him to 2-under 142, which ties him for 11th. Daly, 48, had missed the cut in each of his previous starts in 2015.
Three things are key in Daly’s game this week: He’s hitting the driver well, having worked with TaylorMade to dial in an AeroBurner that he first put into play on the West Coast; he’s feeling healthy, which is allowing him to swing more aggressively and freely; and he’s putting well. One adjustment with the putting: Less time over the golf ball.
“I’m not taking near as much time over the putter,” he said. “I feel I’ve gotten away from my old pre-shot routine, which was see the line and hit it. Just hit it. I get over it and think for two or three more seconds and then I start pulling and pushing putts. … I putted really quick these two days. I told myself I was going to do that, and I think it’s helped a little bit.”
Daly, ranked 850th in the world, has not had a top-10 finish in a stroke-play event on the PGA Tour since the 2011 RBC Canadian Open, in which he tied for ninth.