John Daly got off to a hot start in Sunday’s final round of the Insperity Championship, his first start on the 50-plus PGA Tour Champions. However, the 50-year-old two-time major winner couldn’t sustain the momentum to make a charge, and he finished tied for 17th in his tour debut.
Daly, who shot 1-under 71 on Sunday, closed the 54-hole event at The Woodlands C.C. near Houston at 2 under par, 10 shots behind winner Jesper Parnevik.
Coming into the week, Daly said he was keeping expectations low mainly because he simply hadn’t played much. He came out of this week encouraged by how he played.
“It was a solid week and I played better than I thought I would,” Daly said. “I hit a lot of fairways this week.The irons weren’t all that great.I was really close to being good. But for not playing, I’m pretty pleased. I’ll just go home this week and work on the things I need to work on.”
Daly intends to play what amounts to a full schedule on PGA Tour Champions, so there will be plenty more opportunities for him to break through. Meanwhile, the Swede Parnevik ended a more than 15-year winless skid with his win in Texas. Parnevik, who quit his popular Swedish reality TV show to focus on golf, won for the first time since taking the 2001 Honda Classic. This was Parnevik’s 23rd start on the 50-plus tour, but it was his 277th start since that ’01 win.
“It feels fantastic, actually,” Parnevik said. “I’m still in shock, because when it’s been this long, you don’t even remember how it is.”
Injuries have prevented Parnevik from being able to play much in the last decade of his life. However, the time away from week-to-week tour golf and the easy-going nature of PGA Tour Champions had him excited to play — and contend — again.
“That was a blessing in disguise in a sense,” Parnevik said of his injuries. “I don’t know if I would have been as keen or eager to play right now if I would have played those eight years full-time. … I was really looking forward to playing on this tour because I’ve had so many injuries and I haven’t played much. My form wasn’t that great, but I was still looking forward to coming out here and compete, and I think that’s the key that kept me practicing so much.”
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