Love the way this course looks. I'm a California boy so I like the brown foothills. Never got a chance to play here but heard great things about it.
Ernie Els and John Daly are in the field. Interesting article on John Daly taking steps in the right direction
When you consider the big picture of John Daly's life, last Saturday wasn't even a blip on the radar screen. A 63 followed by an 86 created some buzz in the media center, caused a few players to scratch their heads, but we've come to expect a certain "inconsistency" out of Daly.
But Saturday was different.
There was no walking off the golf course or hitting golf balls that were still moving. Daly tried 86 times -- he simply played badly.
I was standing by the third green when the meltdown happened. Daly had just lipped out a putt at the second for a double bogey and drove into a lateral hazard to the left of the third fairway.
Daly walked down into the desert wash and disappeared from view. I then saw three quick puffs of dust emerge like smoke signals of distress. Those were strokes of frustration leading to an eventual quadruple-bogey 8.
While hitting those shots out of the arroyo, Daly jarred his elbow. He did not use that as an excuse, explaining he had a case of the "lefts" that he couldn't fix.
We have seen Daly play rapidly and post a big number in the past but there was effort on Saturday.
That was a big round for John. He had a chance to make a major move on the money list. A chance to be totally exempt for 2013, but when he walked out of that dry wash on the third hole, he was already slipping down the money list.
Daly made the cut and actually lost places, dropping to 137th on the money list with $488,505 in earnings. He needs to make anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000 -- perhaps more -- in the next three tournaments to be fully exempt.
To Daly's credit, he has succeeded this year in an area that's difficult to improve. He would have ranked 179th in strokes gained-putting in 2011 (if he had enough qualifying rounds), but this year he has improved to 23rd.
That's a remarkable jump for a 46-year-old and age has not robbed Daly of his length.
He's still "Long John Daly."
More than 50 percent of his drives travel more than 300 yards and he averages 307.2 yards per hit. That's eighth-best on TOUR.
Daly is four years away from the Champions Tour but let's savor his remaining time on the PGA TOUR.
It's a different John Daly. There is still some inconsistency but there is also the effort to improve.