Date: November 27, 2008
Author: Angus Morgan at Huntingdale

Daly curses wind

Tournament drawcard John Daly was forced to &aposguess&apos his way around a windswept Huntingdale on Thursday morning but, after signing for a four-over 76, the two-time major winner believes he&aposs not out of contention to claim the Australian Masters gold jacket. Bogeys on his final two holes, the eighth and ninth – both into the wind – left a nasty taste in Daly&aposs mouth after an eagle at the par-five seventh lifted him to within striking distance of the leaders. Daly, who was out in the second group of the day alongside three-time Masters champion Craig Parry who also returned a 76, said the hot, gusty northerly – classic Melbourne summer conditions – ensured his focus was all about survival. “It was just so brutal; this golf course wasn&apost built for the wind and the greens are so undulating that it makes it even more difficult when the wind&aposs blowing like this,” Daly said. “It was hard to have a lot of confidence out there; it was more a guessing game.” “It was a matter of trying to get the right club in your hand and trust it.” “I was sitting there posing and hoping instead of knowing, and that makes it real tough.” Rather than approach his round cautiously or with a defensive mindset, Daly said it made better sense to err on the side of aggression. He pulled out the driver four times in all – that&aposs once or twice more than he originally intended to. Before heading for the practice range, where he said he planned to make friends with the wind, Daly said he thought one- or two-over would be a &aposdamn good score&apos, meaning that he&aposs not out of it. “You play the pro-am, you come here Tuesday and get a good game plan and all of a sudden the wind kinda screws it all up for you,” he said. “I didn&apost play that bad; it was just one of those days that you&aposve got to be patient and hang in there.” “If a couple of putts would have fallen, it wouldn&apost have been that bad.”