THE WOODLANDS, Texas – One year ago, John Daly made his PGA TOUR Champions debut. And it came at the Insperity Invitational.
He celebrated the one-year anniversary with his first victory. Daly shot a final-round 3-under 69 and finished 14 under on the week to win by one shot over Tommy Armour III and Kenny Perry at The Woodlands Country Club.
“It’s just awesome," said Daly, who wore pants in the style of the American flag on Sunday. "I want to let all my sponsors know that I love them and thank them for everything.”
Daly entered Sunday with a 1-shot lead over Perry but quickly built on it. He eagled the first hole, then added a birdie on No. 3 to extend his lead to 3 shots. But before Daly made the turn, Tommy Armour III went on a tear and grabbed part of the lead at 13 under overall. Daly later made bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17, but Armour and Perry couldn't apply much pressure.
“Nothing happened for me down the stretch," Armour III said. "I bogeyed Nos. 17 and 18. Hit it in the water at 17 and hit it in the trees on 18 and made those two bogeys. What can I do. I kind of threw away the tournament."
Daly was able to play the tough finishing hole conservatively to secure the win. “These finishing holes are so hard," Daly said. "I didn’t hit the irons very good these last two days. I drove the ball tremendously with my Vertical Groove driver. And I putted so good. I just kind of hung in there and did the best I could. It wasn’t pretty at the end, but I got it done. That’s all that matters.”
As he strolled up the 18th fairway with a likely victory in the books, Daly bent down and kissed a huge Arnold Palmer umbrella that tournament workers painted on the grass. "Some guys come out here and win right off the bat, get the monkey off their back, but now I can say I'm a champion on the PGA TOUR Champions," Daly said. "It's really cool and hopefully I can keep this confidence going."