John Daly delivers another ride in PGA's 1st round
Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) – Always colourful, never boring.
Shaggy John Daly produced another wild ride for a PGA championship.
The 56-year-old two-time major champion, whose fast-paced drives propelled him to a PGA win in 1991, scaled the slopes and hills of the Southern Hills in a golf cart that the PGA allows him because of osteoarthritis in his right knee.
And first off the tee in the cool of the morning, he quickly fucked the first hole. That came another at No. 5.
Nostalgia was in the air. Daly was on the leaderboard for most of the round when he was greeted with cheers of "Go Big John" from a gallery of fans who still retain his eccentric style, thick mop of white hair, bushy beard and belly hiding his belt buckle , loves.
Then came the late-round meltdown in the rising heat: four bogeys on the last five holes, including three in a row in places 16-18. In the end, at 2 over 72, Daly was in no mood to talk and skipped post-round interviews.
At least his cart didn't cause him any problems. At the 2021 PGA Championship on Kiawah Island, Daly needed fans to help him get out of the sand when he got stuck. His biggest obstacles in Tulsa were a few water hazards that he managed to avoid by going under the ropes and briefly into the gallery.
And he signed his score card. Daly was disqualified from the PGA Tour Champions Regions Tradition last week after failing to do so after the second round.
WHAT A START
Arizona Club pro Jesse Mueller started his first PGA championship with a jerk: an eagle on his first hole.
The general manager of the course at Grand Canyon University, where he also volunteers as an assistant coach, played his way into the tournament by winning the Walter Hagen Cup in Austin in April. The top 20 from the Club Pro Event qualified for Southern Hills
If there were any nerves on Thursday, he didn't show it.
With his wife and caddy Jessie watching, Mueller strode to the #10 tee in a "GCU" shirt and coolly hit the driver 327 yards to the landing pad in front of a creek. He then dipped the ball straight into the cup from 102 yards out.
Mueller, 39, tried to pursue a career in professional golf for eight years before turning to teaching and club work. He took five days off to come to Tulsa.
The PGA Championship is his fifth career tour event and second major. He qualified for the 2012 US Open and tied for 51st place. His earnings to date total $39,940.
Eventually his round faded with three straight bogeys that left him 2-over for the day.
But Thursday's opening Eagle in a round two shots better than Tiger Woods? This is a memory for life.
If anyone goes out on the last lap on Sunday the 18th and needs a birdie - good luck.
The 490-yard, par-4 finisher at Southern Hills, played uphill and often upwind, proved overwhelmingly the most difficult hole on the course during Thursday's first round. There were only three birdies from the first 108 players through the meat grinder, while 48 had bogeyed, three had doubled and one had an even worse run.
Will Zalatoris was among those to bogey, one of only two during his Sterling round of 4-under-66.
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