JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When PGA Tour players turn 50 and begin playing on the PGA Tour Champions, there's often some adjustment required because instead of four-round tournaments, most Champions events are three.
That puts a premium on fast starts and aggressive thinking.
John Daly won't have to change his mind-set a bit.
The two-time major champion and one of the most colorful and controversial players of his era will make his Champions debut on May 6 at the Insperity Invitational at The Woodlands Country Club near Houston.
Daly turns 50 on April 28. While he has some trepidation about being tournament-tested, Daly won't have a problem attacking golf courses, for good or ill.
"I would rather finish fifth or sixth and avoid being conservative for second place," he said on Tuesday during a teleconference sponsored by the Insperity Invitational. "Pretty much my whole career, I have been aggressive. I have always been a guy that goes at pins. That's kind of the way I've been all my career and I don't know, really, if I can change."
Daly also is going back to a venue and a city in which he's had success. He had three top-10 finishes at the Shell Houston Open when it was played at The Woodlands and added two more top-10s after the tournament moved to the Redstone Country Club. Daly's best finish in the Houston Open was second in 2005, losing in a playoff to Vijay Singh after rallying with a final-round 67.
"There was a golf course that if you are driving the ball really, really well, you can get aggressive off the tee," he said.
Daly said he's been working "really, really hard" on his game in the Clearwater area, practicing and playing at various courses. He said he hasn't lost much distance from the days when he annually led the Tour in that category, but is trying to get into some PGA Tour events to get some tournament rounds under his belt.
"I want to play a lot of competitive rounds of golf going into The Woodlands, so I'm a little nervous about it," said Daly, who will attempt to Monday-qualify for next week's Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor and will play the Puerto Rico Open in late March. "I'll be fresh, but I don't know how great my golf game will be. I can sit here and hit all the balls and chip and putt all day long, but if you're not playing competitive golf ... there's nothing better than competitive golf. I don't really have any expectations, just to go play and try and do the best I can."
This article was written by Garry Smits from The Florida Times-Union and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.