BOCA RATON, Fla. – Playing his fourth event since revealing he’s fighting bladder cancer, John Daly shot an 8-under 64 on Friday for a share of the lead with Jim Furyk in the PGA Tour Champions’ TimberTech Champions.
Daly had his lowest score in his five-year career on the 50-and-over tour. The two-time major champion won his lone Champions title in 2017 in Houston.
“Just tired all the time, just something the doc told me I’d be,” Daly said. “Trying to drink the right stuff, but it’s hard to take Diet Coke away from me. I was proud of myself, I only smoked six cigarettes today. Usually I smoke about a pack and a half.”
Daly eagled the par-5 18th — hitting a 7-iron to 12 feet — for a first-nine 31 on The Old Course at Broken Sound. He finished the round with a bogey on the par-4 ninth.
“I just hit it really good,” Daly said. “The bad drives that I did hit, I could find it, hit it. I just putted really, really good. … The putter felt really, really good today and these greens are so good, that if you get on a little roll, it helps. You could see by the scores, a lot of low scores today.”
The 50-year-old Furyk won this year in his first two starts on the senior tour. He birdied the last two holes and three of the last four.
“Just trying to put the ball on the fairway, put the ball on the green, give myself some looks and probably did my best putting there on the back nine and knocked in some putts that had a little bit of length to them, 10, 15, 20 feet,” Furyk said.
Local favorite Bernhard Langer, the winner in 2010 and 2019, was a stroke back with Duffy Waldorf, Scott Parel and Robert Karlsson. Joe Durant and Brett Quigley shot 66,
“Finally made a few putts from medium distance or short distance,” the 63-year-old Langer said. “Played pretty solid, maybe one loose drive here or there, but my irons were better today than most days.”
Seventy-year-old Tom Kite bettered his age with a bogey-free 67.
Ernie Els had a 69.
Country rap artist Colt Ford opened with a 76. He’s playing on a sponsor exemption.