John Daly has a rapport with golf courses across the Atlantic and looks forward to competing in next month’s Scottish and British Opens as well as touching base with old friend Tiger Woods at Hoylake.
"It's clear Tiger's been missed and we've seen the reaction already after one round what his return has done for the PGA Tour at Congressional," Daly told AFP after going 7-under through two rounds of the BMW International Open and sitting just five shy of Pablo Larrazabal’s lead.
Long John, who won the same tourney in 2001, fared far better on Thursday and Friday than his recuperating pal (as well as reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, who missed the cut in his native nation). Woods’ streak of 26 consecutive 36-hole cuts made came to an abrupt end on Friday in the former world No. 1’s first competitive contest since undergoing back surgery at the end of March.
Woods, who packaged a few second-round highlights among an early double-bogey and a spate of back-nine bogeys, flamed out of the event that benefits his foundation with a first-round 3-over 74 and a messy 75 on Friday.
Unless Woods adds another event to his 2014 schedule, the next time the winner of 79 PGA Tour events will get in his cherished in-game reps will be in three weeks in the U.K. In addition to the Scottish Open, which starts a week before the British, Woods could conceivably add next week’s Greenbrier Classic and/or the John Deere Classic seven days later.
Coincidentally, Woods’ most recent 36-hole missed cut stateside came on the Greenbrier’s Old White TPC in 2012. He last played the Deere event in his rookie year, 1996, when the tourney was called the Quad City Classic.
In any case, whether the 14-time major titleholder, who infamously missed his first-ever 54-hole cut back in January at Torrey Pines before going on the DL with a bad back a couple months later, continues to be the oddsmakers’ favorite to win the Open Championship after his lackluster performance at the Quicken Loans National remains to be seen.
For Daly, though, just a Tiger sighting at the English venue that yielded Woods’ 11th grand slam event trophy in 2006, was worth the price of admission.
"Wherever Tiger is playing it just moves the needle right up there in terms of spectator numbers and TV interest," said Daly, the 1995 British Open winner, "so it will be great for the Open to see him teeing it up at Royal Liverpool."