Planet Golf — 09 August 2016 by Jim Street
Winless Daly still a hit on Seniors Tour

SNOQUALMIE, Wa. — Long-hitting, hard-living John Daly has yet to visit the winner’s circle on the Champions Tour during his rookie season, but he’s been a welcome addition to the 50-and-older group of professional golfers.

Just ask Billy Andrade, the reigning Boeing Classic champion.

“John Daly is great for the tour,” Andrade said Monday during a conference call with Seattle-area media at TPC Snoqualmie, site of the popular tour stop. “We would like for him to be more competitive and win some. That would be a great thing for the tour.”

The Boeing Classic will be played on August 26-28, hopefully with better weather than Monday’s Media Day at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Heavy rain during a 45 minute mid-morning stretch put a bit of a damper on the event.

Daly, known as “Long John” because of his booming drives, joined the Champions Tour on May 8. The colorful character has competed in nine events and won $140,859, putting him No. 67 on the Charles Schwab Cup standings. The top 72 money-winners qualify for the season-ending Schwab Cup event.

Going into this weeks U.S. Senior Open, Daly has three top-20 finishes, the best being an 11th-pace finish at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic last month. He put together rounds of 68 the first two days, perhaps celebrated too much, and carded a 73 on Sunday, depriving him of his first Top-10 finish.

Boeing Classic Notes — The course is in much better shape this year than a year ago, primarily because there has been so much rain. The greens were running at slightly over 10 on the stump-meter Monday, compared to the 12 that the pros will encounter. . .The 52-year-old Andrade currently is No. 5 on the Schwab Cup money list, earning $902,009 thus far. “I am having a good year and it’s always nice to go back somewhere where you’ve had success.”. .A bum back that has bothered Seattle native Fred Couples on the sidelines for most of the year might force him to miss his hometown event. Players have until Friday to commit and fingers are crossed that he’ll be able to play. . .For ticket and volunteer information go to boeingclassic.com.

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Jim Street

Jim’s 40-year sportswriting career started with the San Jose Mercury-News in 1970 and ended on a full-time basis on October 31, 2010 following a 10-year stint with MLB.com. He grew up in Dorris, Calif., several long drives from the nearest golf course. His first tee shot was a week before being inducted into the Army in 1968. Upon his return from Vietnam, where he was a war correspondent for the 9th Infantry Division, Jim took up golf semi-seriously while working for the Mercury-News and covered numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Open in 1982, when Tom Watson made the shot of his life on the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. Jim also covered several Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournaments, the women’s U.S. Open, and other golfing events in the San Francisco area. He has a 17-handicap, never had a hole-in-one, although once he came within two inches of an ace, and witnessed the first round Ken Griffey Jr. ever played – at Arizona State during Spring Training in 1990. Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Kapalua Plantation Course, Pinehurst No. 2, Spyglass Hill, Winged Foot, Torrey Pines, Medinah, Chambers Bay, North Berwick in Scotland, and Princeville are among the courses he has had the pleasure of playing. Hitting the ball down the middle of the fairway is not a strong part of Jim’s game, but he is known (in his own mind) as the best putter not on tour. Most of Jim’s writing career was spent covering Major League baseball, a tenure that started with the Oakland Athletics, who won 101 games in 1971, and ended with the Seattle Mariners, who lost 101 games in 2010. Symmetry is a wonderful thing. He currently lives in Seattle and vacations in Arizona (and other warm climates) as much as possible.

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