Joe Daley (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
It took twenty years after quitting his job as a credit salesman for Joe Daley to win his first victory on the PGA or Champions tour. He had to contend with the likes of Fred Couples, the defending champion. Mark Calcavecchia the winner the previous week in the Montreal Championships, and Tom Lehman breathing down his neck, and hoping to steal this victory away from him. Joe stuck to his guns after starting the day tied with Calcavecchia and a shot ahead of Couples and Lehman, who won the previous major last month.
A smiling Joe Daley said he was not worried about the competition, he was battling himself;
” I was my competition, not them, I’m my own competition. Have been for years. All I was keying on was what I had next, with the best possible attitude and keeping my emotions under control. I had a little adrenaline going later in the round and I dealt with it pretty good, so here I am.”
This victory earned Joe Daley full Champions Tour status for a calendar year, and he deserves it.
Mark Calcavecchia was full of praise for Joe;
“I thought he might get a little shaky in the back, but he was solid, he deserves it. He’s been at this a long time, and this is a huge win for him.”
Tom Lehman bogeyed three of the final six holes, and was not happy;
“Just a little bit off all day today, I didn’t play badly, I didn’t play great. With the conditions the way they were, being a little bit off was enough. “
Tom spoke about Joe;
“I know him enough to know he’s a hard worker, he’s very committed and willing to pay the price. I look at a guy like him and say, well deserved.’”
Congratulations to first time winner, 51-year-old Joe Daley.