Daly joins our Tour

'Big John' out to claim Volvo order of Merit

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 29 Jan 2002

It's great news that long-hitting hero John Daly has joined the European Tour in a bid to wrest the Volvo Order of Merit from Retief Goosen.

Daly - soon a familiar face in Europe.
The move means he will be making at least 11 appearances on the European circuit - the minimum required to retain membership - giving an added boost to the Tour.

He decided to join the global schedule despite admitting he became 'petrified' of flying after the terrorist attacks on September 11.

And as he flew in to Melbourne, Australia this morning to compete in the European Tour's Heineken Classic event, he revealed that he even had to take his shoes and socks off as part of security checks on boarding his flight from Phoenix.

"I almost joined the Tour last year, but now I think it's not only a good move on my part, but also good for golf and hopefully good for the European tour," says Daly, who won the BMW International in spectacular style in Munich last year.

The 35-year-old, who has had two spells in alcohol rehabilitation centres during his controversial career, is on his fourth marriage and playing some of the best golf of his career, which includes two major titles.

The win in Germany helped his world ranking from 507th to 47th in the space of 12 months and, having equalled his best US Tour finish for six years when he was fourth in the Phoenix Open on Sunday, Daly sees a European card as a way to climb even higher up the rankings on the way to a place in the US Masters in April.

"For the first time everything in my life is the way I want it," he says.

As well as defending his BMW title, Daly's planned European appearances include the Benson and Hedges International at The Belfry from May 9-12 and the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond from July 11-14 - plus the Open at Muirfield( July 18-21). He was Open champion in 1995.

A good performance this week could secure an Augusta spot and the Royal Melbourne course should suit him.

"I've been told that Royal Melbourne should be right up my alley if I'm driving it straight," says Daly, who plans to fly by private jet from now on.

How do you feel about John Daly joining the European circuit? Good for golf or a blow to developing our own talent? Tell us on the Forum.



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