November 12, 2008 – Two-time Major champion John Daly has announced he will play in next week’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
The big-hitting American – famed for his “grip it and rip it” approach to golf – is targeting the US$2.5 million showpiece in an effort to get his career back on track.
“I’m looking to play well and get my 2009 season off to a good start,” said Daly. “I’ve been working hard on my game and I had a few good rounds at the end of the US season. I’m looking to gain more consistency.”
Daly – nicknamed “Wild Thing” by his legions of fans – leapt to worldwide fame with his incredible victory in the 1991 US PGA Championship when he was called in as ninth alternate and won the title.
While known for his monster drives, he demonstrated the brilliance of his short game four years later when he captured the British Open at St Andrews, winning a playoff against Italy’s Costantino Rocca.
Daly has played in the Hong Kong Open once before, 10 years ago when he was up with the leaders for much of the tournament before finishing joint 19th.
He is looking forward to returning to the Hong Kong Golf Club, where the 50th edition of the tournament will be staged from November 20-23.
“As I recall the greens were much to my liking and I enjoyed the trip,” he said.
“Hong Kong has always been considered a prestigious event so I hope to put in a good performance.”
Of his attempts to climb back up the world rankings, he said: “All I can do is control my effort and attitude. If I can do this, I hope it will be enough to turn things around.”
Daly’s presence at the UBS Hong Kong Open means the field will include players boasting 14 Majors between them.
Leading the way will be England’s Nick Faldo (6) followed by Daly (2), German legend Bernhard Langer (2), Spain’s José María Olazábal (2) and New Zealander Michael Campbell and Scotland’s Paul Lawrie (1 each).
The line-up also includes defending champion Miguel ángel Jiménez of Spain, PGA Tour ace Rory Sabbatini of South Africa, 2005 UBS Hong Kong Open champion Colin Montgomerie of Scotland and Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, a two-time winner on the European Tour this year.