The saga of John Daly took its latest interesting turn at the PGA Championship, as Daly used a scorching putter to put together a stellar round of 67 to leave the Southern Hills Country Club course with the first-round lead.
And while England's Graeme Storm bulled past Daly with a stellar 65 to take the lead at the close of play Thursday, a good portion of the talk at the 89th PGA Championship was about "Big John."
Tiger Woods got off to a strong start with three birdies in his first six holes, but struggled coming in and ended his first round six shots off Storm's pace at 1-over. Here's what Daly, Storm and Woods had to say after an entertaining opening round of the PGA Tour's final major of the year.
Q. Some thoughts on why things went so well today.
JOHN DALY: I have no idea. There was odds with all the caddies and players this week who would fall first, me or my caddie. So we made it. We made 18 holes. But, it was one of those rounds, I was very aggressive off the tee. I didn't know what else to do. I haven't played this course since '94. Didn't play a practice round this week because it was too hot. So the angles were really good for me today. My driver, hit the driver real well and putted good.
Q. If you didn't play a practice round here at Southern Hills, how did you prepare for this tournament? What has John Daly been doing the last few days?
JOHN DALY: I've been playing slots over at Cherokee Casino. Did good the first day; didn't do too good the other day. But I played their golf course yesterday. I went out just in a cart. They gave me the golf course from 10:00 to 1:00 yesterday. I got a lot of practicing in.
And it was probably the best practice I did. Peter came out with me, and I hit this big duck hook on the first hole I played and I said, You know what? I'm taking the club too far inside. The rest of the day I started taking the club more outside, started getting the cut back and getting a little feel. But today was putting, putting was exceptional for me today.
Q. Razorbacks out there supporting you?
JOHN DALY: I think I had some Sooner fans and Cowboy fans as well. There's a lot of Hog fans out here. I only live -- only two and a half hours away from Dardanelle. I got a lot of fans here. It's been great through these ups and downs the last couple of years, the way I've played. They're still coming out to watch me. As hot as it is, it's amazing that they're making it, although they do get to wear shorts, which we, I think, as PGA of America, need to talk about days like this we need to start wearing shorts ourselves. But, no, the fans have been great.
Q. Must be good a good feeling leading the PGA in the first round?
GRAEME STORM: Good feeling. Didn't expect it at all. It's an absolute pleasure to be the top of the leaderboard now.
Q. You didn't expect this; what did you expect?
GRAEME STORM: I think I've not been playing great, and I thought 18 over par last week. And I expected the course to be as tough or if not tougher, really. Quite fortunate we play in Asia quite a lot. I'm used to the heat and humidity and the type of grass we're playing on this week. The course just maybe suits me a little bit better than last week.
Q. Talk about the front nine. You came out 4-under for your first nine holes. That's a pretty great start at a major?
GRAEME STORM: It really was. Held a great putt at 10. Quite a tricky putt there and nearly had one at 11. Held it to about six inches there. Could have nearly gone in. From there on got off to a nice start and comfortable and enjoyed every minute of it, really.
Q. You played in the heat today, hottest part of the day. You shot two shots better than anybody on the course?
GRAEME STORM: Yes, I mean maybe I just got lucky; I don't know. But I was chipping out there, a horseshoe from a chip. Maybe the ball was just running the right way for me, which it hasn't done for the last few weeks.
Q. Tomorrow, is it a benefit for you to get to play early morning, which will probably be easier conditions to play?
GRAEME STORM: Yeah, I think so. Obviously when I saw the draw, it was 7:30 on the Friday morning, knew that I was fast out. And obviously the course conditions are always going to be the best of greens and what have you. The heat is not going to be as much of a factor in the humidity. But, yeah, just go out there, keep doing the same things, really.
Q. Tiger, after three birdies, first six holes, if there was a turning point or something changed, what was it?
TIGER WOODS: I don't know. I felt like I hit the ball better than my score indicates which is good. That's a good sign heading into the next three days, and just need to clean up my round a little bit.
Q. When you look at the par saves on 16 and 17 and what you did there, what momentum did that gave you at the time, and heading over to the front side?
TIGER WOODS: Well, I felt pretty good about it. I had two good saves there and it felt like I hit a couple loose shots and I got away with the two pars and felt like just keep playing the back nine and see what happens.
The back nine, I missed a couple shots, and also the wind was a little hard to gauge on that back nine. It was swirling all over the place. Cost me definitely one shot for sure.
Q. It seemed like that was the case, seeing some of the reaction shots, how would you describe conditions in terms of the wind overall?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it was blowing pretty hard early. At least it was consistent. It was coming out of the same direction. Now it's all over the place and it's playing tricks on all of us in our group today. All three of us had a difficult time gauging which way it was coming from. Good shots didn't always end up where we thought it would be.
Q. Your reaction on John Daly's round?
TIGER WOODS: Well, it must be from all of the practice rounds he played here. I think we all know, JD is extremely talented; once he gets going, he gets going. He plays very aggressively. I saw him -- I think we were on 18 and saw a ball way down there on 9. When he gets going, as we all know, he can shoot in good numbers.
Q. Talk about the heat, did it brother you?
TIGER WOODS:Well, it's warmer than Florida but nowhere near as humid which is nice. That's one of the reasons why you run all those miles ought here in the heat and stay in decent shape.
Transcripts provided by ASAP Sports.
August 10, 2007
Coming off his thrilling British Open victory over Sergio Garcia in 2007, Padraig Harrington sat down to discuss his game and his chances at the 2008 U.S. Open. "I have spent my last 10 years trying to adapt my swing to play U.S. Open golf," Harrington said. "I'd say the last two years, that and the Masters have attracted my attention more than anything else."
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