John Daly did all the right things on Sunday at the Insperity Invitational near Houston. He wore American flag pants. He kissed a large, painted Arnold Palmer umbrella logo walking up the final fairway. And, for the first time in more than 13 years, he won on American soil.
Coming to the final hole, Daly led by two shots after he found the green with his approach to the lengthy par-4 finisher. However, the two-time major champion was 60 feet away. He would go first, but if Perry made his birdie putt from the fringe, a potential second putt could mean the difference between winning and a playoff. Daly coaxed his first putt to 6 feet. When Perry missed his birdie bid, Daly had two putts for the win, which he took.
Daly was greeted by his wife and showered by his peers with champagne in a perfect scene.
“For me it’s like, you know, some guys come out here and win right off the bat, get the monkey off their back,” Daly said. “But now I can say I’m a champion on the Champions Tour, which is really cool and hopefully I can keep this confidence going.”
This is the first win in the United States for Daly since winning the PGA Tour’s 2004 Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines near San Diego. He has won around the world since then, including a mini-tour PGA of Europe event in 2014. But winning on home soil and on PGA Tour Champions, which he was expected to do well before his one-year anniversary of his debut, is a much bigger deal.
And how will Daly celebrate?
“I just want a Miller Lite,” Daly said. “That’s all I want.”