Daley stuns big names for Senior Players title|
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Joe Daley began the week with no status on
the Champions Tour.
He ended it a major champion.
Daley trumped some of the biggest names in golf on Sunday to win the Senior
Players Championship, the third major this season on the Champions Tour.
Daley, who shared the third-round lead, shot a 2-under 68 and won by two
strokes at Fox Chapel Golf Club. He finished at 14-under 266.
"It just opens other opportunities to go out and play and prove how good I can
be and compete against these guys because these guys can play," said Daley.
"It just will be a continuation of the process of more competition and playing
Tom Lehman, who won the Tradition, the second major this year, birdied the
last for a 1-under 69. He took second at minus-12.
Olin Browne, the reigning U.S. Senior Open winner, who had a 62 on Friday,
fired a 5-under 65 Sunday to sneak into third at 11-under par.
Mark Calcavecchia, who shared the overnight lead with Daley, struggled to a 2-
over 72 and tied for fourth with last year's winner, Fred Couples, who shot a
1-over 71 as the final member of the final threesome. The pair finished at 10-
It was a tense front nine for the contenders and through most of the opening
side, Daley and Lehman were atop the leaderboard.
Lehman birdied two of his first four and Daley's lone birdie in that time
frame came from eight feet out at the second. Daley fell one behind Lehman
after a bogey at the sixth, but when Lehman missed the green en route to bogey
at No. 8, the two were tied at 12-under par.
Daley inched ahead with a 12-foot birdie putt at the ninth. Calcavecchia
chipped in for birdie at No. 10 to get within one of the lead, but Daley
poured in a 22-footer for birdie on top of him to go two in front.
Lehman faltered with back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14, while Daley made
routine pars. Lehman birdied the 15th to close the gap, but it was
Calcavecchia who got closer.
Calcavecchia, who won last week in Montreal, sank an 8-foot birdie putt at the
15th and was two back. Calcavecchia drove into the left rough at 16, pushed
his approach into a right, greenside bunker. Daley was in a fairway bunker off
the tee, but safely played his second to the fringe and got up and down for
par. Calcavecchia wasn't so lucky. He made bogey and fell three behind.
Daley made things interesting on himself with an errant tee ball at the par-3
17th. He landed in sand on the left and blasted out to 20 feet. His par putt
missed and he walked to the par-5 18th with a two-shot lead.
Lehman was in the fairway at 18 and would need an eagle to truly threaten
Daley. Lehman's second didn't go forward like he thought and came to rest
short on the fringe. Lehman knocked his third close and tapped in for birdie
to get within one of Daley's lead.
"Miracles do happen," Lehman said. "Thinking may be I'll get lucky and make a
long one. Did not, but still made birdie."
Daley played the 18th beautifully until his third shot. From just short of the
green, Daley ran his eagle effort almost 18 feet by the hole.
He faced a downhill birdie putt, but only needed a two-putt for the victory.
Daley rolled in the long birdie putt to put the exclamation point on an
"I couldn't have asked for a better day than today and have a round playing
with them," said Daley. "All I was keying on was what I had next with the best
possible attitude and kept my emotions under control. Had a little adrenaline
going later in the round and I dealt with it pretty good, so here I am."
Kirk Triplett (66) and Bill Glasson (69) shared sixth at minus-9, followed by
Kenny Perry, whose 2-under 68 left him alone in eighth at 8-under 272.
NOTES: Daley pocketed $405,000 for the victory...He never won on the PGA Tour,
but did win twice on the Web.com Tour, but not since 2005...Daley's previous
best finish was a tie for fourth at the Senior PGA...Roger Chapman, who won
the season's first major, the Senior PGA Championship, shot a 2-over 72 and
tied for 14th at 4-under par...Michael Allen, the leading money winner on
tour, shared ninth at minus-7...The Champions Tour heads to California next
week for the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, where Jeff Sluman
captured the event last year.
07/01 19:44:23 ET