November 23, 2008 – John Daly signed off in style at the UBS Hong Kong Open on Sunday (November 23) with a brilliant eight-under-par 62.
The two-time Major winner was in sublime form at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling with a round that was just one shot off the course record.
“I’m very pleased,” said Daly. “I wasn’t expecting this much this week so to shoot probably one of my best rounds in three years, I’m pretty happy with it.”
The American had been in contention for the UBS Hong Kong Open title after opening with back-to-back 68s to stand just four shots off the lead at the halfway mark.
A third-round 73 ended his hopes, but he still attracted his usual large following when he set out for the fourth round on Sunday.
He fired four birdies on the front nine, another one on No.10 and three in a row from the 12th to put himself in prime position to break the course record of 61 set by Scotland’s Simon Yates three years ago.
Four pars to finish meant Daly just missed out, but his round put him in line for a top-10 result and he was able to reflect on a good week’s work as he attempts to climb back up the world rankings.
“Any time you get to play on the weekend, whether you play good or bad, at least you can work on something and you’re in competitive golf,” he said.
“It was a good week for me. To shoot 73 and come back with 62, I feel really, really good about it.
“I knew I shot myself out of the tournament yesterday, but I really didn’t play that bad. I just had a couple of bad swings and a couple of flyers that cost me three or four shots.
“Other than that, I’m very pleased and hit the ball pretty decent this week.”
Daly no longer has either a PGA Tour or European Tour card and is relying on invitations from tournament organisers and sponsors as he tries to resurrect his career.
“I’m going down to Australia to play two more events there,” he said.
“I can’t remember the last time I had three weeks in a row that I could play, and that’s probably why I’m hoping to get a lot of invites on the European Tour and play four, five, six in a row. That’s the only way I can play good golf.”
Daly will play in the Australian Masters at Huntingdale in Melbourne and then the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, north of Brisbane.
He said he was looking forward to playing Down Under. “I’ve always loved it there. The people are great.
“I love the golf course at Huntingdale. Coolum is a little different for me, a lot of irons off the tee, but they are both great golf courses, and the greens are really, really fast.”
Daly had plenty of support from the galleries in Hong Kong and he said that had spurred him on.
“The fans are great wherever I go. If I can play in enough tournaments and stay healthy, hopefully some good things will happen. I’ve just got to keep working at it.”