Hats Off to Johnny!
By Irish America Staff
April / May 2004
John Daly made a spectacular birdie to win a three-man play-off at the Buick Invitational in San Diego, claiming his first PGA Tour victory in nearly nine years.
The 37-year-old had not won in 189 PGA Tour events since his British Open win in 1995.
With a 100-foot bunker shot that trickled within four inches of the cup, Daly birdied the 18th hole Sunday, February 15, to win the Invitational in a three-man playoff,
“It’s the greatest,” Daly told reporters, fighting back tears. “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Geez, this is sweet.”
Daly’s “ups and downs” include a trip to alcohol rehab, three divorces and his fourth wife being brought up on drug charges just days after giving birth to his first son.
“I take my hat off to Johnny. He’s been through a lot. To see him win is great,” said Chris Riley, whom Daly narrowly out shot to win the Buick Invitational in Riley’s home town of San Diego.
Daly won $1.1 million for his fifth PGA Tour victory. He won his first PGA championship in 1991, when he was the ninth alternate and drove through the night to Indiana after Nick Price withdrew. ♦