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Tour News (posted 10th October 1998)

Old Course still delights Daly


St Andrews, Scotland - John Daly was a proud man after he won his third successive match in the Alfred Dunhill Cup on Saturday.

Victory kept him on track for a notable Old Course hat-trick.

The American, still battling against his addictions to alcohol, gambling and food, is trying to add to his success as a member of the winning U.S. team in 1993 and his British Open victory in 1995.

Daly took his record to seven wins in eight Dunhill Cup matches when he beat Per-Ulrik Johansson of Sweden to help the Americans into Sunday's semifinals.

Apart from that one defeat in a cup playoff in 1993, Daly has never lost on the Old Course he adores.

Daly edged out Johansson 71-72 with a birdie from two feet at the final hole and said: "I'm happy as hell to be here.

"My three matches have been down to the wire and I've pulled through and it makes me feel proud."

He also believes his recovery programme is working well because he again feels nervous when he plays.

"I have had three solid matches and it's been fun. It's been fun to have those butterflies in the gut, grind it out and come through," he said.

But Daly was under no illusions about the quality of his play compared with team mates Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara.

He is two-over-par for three rounds while Woods is 14-under and O'Meara 11-under.

"If it was an individual tournament this week I would be out of it. But it's a team tournament," he said.

Daly crammed the low point and high point of his round into the notorious 461-yard 17th, where he hammered his drive some 375 yards to leave himself a wedge shot to the top of the green.

He felt he hit it strongly enough but it rolled back to the bottom of the slope. His next attempt just failed to get up, catching the gully which cuts into the green and rolling down beside the famous "Road Hole" bunker.

That left an awkward fourth shot off hard ground up over the side of the bunker and he played it brilliantly to finish 2-1/2 feet from the pin.

Daly's modest assessment of that shot drew a tribute from O'Meara.

"What he's trying to tell you is he hit a hell of a shot. Most people don't have that shot," he said.