John Daly, 52, is leading a European Tour event

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

John Daly, 52, is leading a European Tour event

Euro Tour

John Daly, 52, is leading a European Tour event

John Daly last won on the European Tour or PGA Tour in 2004, but he’s in early position to break that long drought.

The 52-year-old began his opening round at the D+D Real Czech Masters birdie-birdie-birdie and continued to cruise from there at Albatross Golf Resort on his way to a bogey-free 8-under 64. That turned out to be good enough for a share of the first-round lead at the European Tour event alongside Thomas Pieters, Gavin Green and Callum Tarren.

Of course there are three rounds to go, but it is interesting to see Daly’s name up there early.

It hasn’t been a banner 2018 on course for Daly, as he’s only managed to sit 59th in the Charles Schwab Cup money list on the PGA Tour Champions – three top 10s this season but his highest finish being a T-5. He’s also done little in his PGA Tour starts, missing the cut or withdrawing in four of five events and finishing T-65 in the other.

The most notable moments of his year are his gripe with the U.S. Golf Association over not being able to use a cart (Daly was dealing with a knee injury) at the U.S. Senior Open and his bus being hit by a car near Augusta National during Masters week.

But maybe something new (and better) is in the air.

This may be his first European Tour start since last year at this very event, where he missed the cut, but through 18 holes this week could be far different.

While Daly hasn’t won on the European Tour since the 2001 BMW International Open and his fifth and final PGA Tour win to date came at the 2004 Buick Invitational, he’ll still show flashes at times.

He won the 2017 Insperity Invitational in his second season on the PGA Tour Champions. Later that year, Daly was in the thick of contention through 54 holes in a European Tour event.

A Saturday 65 pushed him to within three of the lead heading into the final round at the 2017 Made In Denmark tournament. He would close in 71 to place T-10, his best finish in a European Tour event since a solo fourth at the 2012 Commercialbank Qatar Masters.

It’s certainly possible he could top that in three days time. Regardless, it’s nice to see Long John still show those flashes.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home