At 149th on the money list, John Daly has a way to go to get into the top 125 and reclaim his PGA Tour card -- but an eagle on the par-5 11th and a share of second place early in the first round at Kiawah Island won’t hurt. Fresh from a T5 finish at last week’s Reno-Tahoe Open, the 1991 PGA champ made his presence felt early after carding two birdies on his front nine and making the turn at 2-under.
The eagle put Long John at 4-under along with Rory McIlroy and Carl Petterrson, just one shot off the early lead of Joost Luiten.
Daly has missed only one PGA Championship (1999) since his win, but his best start since that victory was a share of 29th in 1997 and he has compiled two missed cuts and two withdrawals after the first round in his previous four PGA starts. With two additional top-20 finishes in 10 tour appearances this season, Daly, who has made it his mission to earn back his playing privileges, has had a decent 2012.