Just call him “Mild Thing”
John Daly has been through a lot of peaks and valleys in his lifetime. More recently, it’s been a lot more valleys than peaks. After suffering through Lap-Band surgery that caused him to lose an unhealthy amount of weight in a short period of time, Daly has since kept the weight off and turned things around after a number of forgettable years, on and off the course.
While Rory McIlroy’s record-tying 63 was the story of the day on Thursday, John Daly’s 6-under 66 had to be top story 1A. The former British Open champion, who won at St. Andrews in 1995, was all business on Thursday, making a number of big putts on the outward nine to go out in 31 (5-under).
While his inward nine wasn’t as spectacular, there were still signs that Daly’s game is finally getting back on track at the right time. Through three-and-a-half rounds last week at the Scottish Open, Daly was in contention for a top-15 finish. While two holes seemingly derailed his Sunday back nine, he managed to keep the mistakes to a minimum.
Coming back to St. Andrews, Daly made it clear after Thursday’s round, that his love for the course — as well as his knowledge of the layout — aided him in posting a very competitive score under calm conditions. How we handles playing in harsher conditions, which are expected this weekend, remains to be seen.
For now, Daly remains like the weather: mild and calm. When asked what he wanted to be called if “Wild Thing no longer stuck, Daly blurted out, “The Mild Thing.” On Thursday, the name was very apropos.