Daly pleased to have secured Masters invitation
Twice major winner John Daly is delighted to have secured a spot at next week's U.S. Masters, especially after making just one appearance at the event in the last three years.
The 37-year-old American earned his 10th invitation to Augusta National by staying in the top 10 in the PGA Tour's money list, despite sliding to 79th at The Players Championship on Sunday after closing with an eight-over-par 80.
"I'm totally excited to be back in the Masters again," Daly told reporters at the TPC at Sawgrass after finishing on 10-over 298.
"I live to play the Masters, like most of the guys out here. I haven't been too often in recent years, so it's a thrill for me to be going back."
Daly made his debut at Augusta National in 1992, tying for 19th. His best Masters finish was a share of third in 1993.
His place in next week's field had been in doubt, though, as he fell off the pace at the TPC at Sawgrass on Sunday, where Australian Adam Scott clinched the second PGA Tour title of his career with a final-round 70.
Had American Kenny Perry finished alone as runner-up, Daly's automatic spot at Augusta would have disappeared.
However, Ireland's Padraig Harrington vaulted into second place with a superb six-under-par 66, and Perry (71) had to settle for a share of third, level with Phil Mickelson (71) and Frank Lickliter II (72).
Daly had started last week in ninth place in the U.S. money list with $1,269,646, largely due to his victory at the Buick Invitational in February.
Thanks to the final-day charge by Harrington at The Players, he remained in the top 10 on Sunday, albeit one place lower with earnings of $1,284,206.
"I feel like I'm playing well enough right now that maybe I can contend this year at Augusta," added Daly, winner of the 1991 U.S. PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open.
"If I can keep hitting the driver well and putt it halfway decent, I should be okay.
"I love it there. I love being there."
The Masters, the first of the year's four majors, will be played at Augusta National from April 8-11.