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Storm blows to two-shot lead at PGA
“You’re going to hit some bad shots and get bogeys here,” he said after shooting a 73. “You’re not going to be able to go all 18 holes and go unscathed.”
Storm was the exception.
He had the only bogey-free round, which required no small measure of skill, along with some luck.
The 29-year-old player from England had little left in the tank when he arrived in Tulsa from the World Golf Championship at Firestone, where he finished 18 over par. This is his eighth week in a row, a stretch that began before he won the French Open for his first European Tour victory. Storm decided to forget about technique and enjoy the day, and it turned out to be a blast.
He started with consecutive birdies, nearly making an ace on the 11th. And when it looked as though he might get in trouble with a tee shot into the trees on the No. 2, he chipped in for birdie and raised his hands, wondering what was happening to him.
“It was one of those rounds when I never really thought about anything,” Storm said.
This was no time to reflect on his past, either, the darkest days coming at the end of the 2002 season when he lost his card in Europe and was broke. He found work at a cream cake factory, washing trays in the back alley in weather so cold the pipes were frozen. It paid about $250 a week, a job he kept for two months.
“You have to bite the bullet and go back,” he said. “I was just being a normal person doing an everyday job, eight hours a day. I didn’t know where my career was going to go. I thought that might be the end, to be honest.”
Daly’s career looks like it might end any minute.
He lost his PGA Tour card last year and has been getting by on sponsor’s exemptions when he needs them. But that hasn’t been his problem. Daly has finished only five of his 19 tournaments this year, and he hit a milestone this year by recording his 50th round in the 80s on the PGA Tour.
So how to explain ripping driver on a course that requires careful navigation? Signing for a 67 at a major where he had broken 70 once in the last 10 years?
“I have no idea,” Daly said.
And then there’s the heat, which caused players to drink a liter of water for every two holes played. Daly prefers to load up on caffeine and cigarettes.
“There was odds with all the caddies and players this week who would fall first, me or my caddie,” he said. “So we made it. We made 18 holes. It was one of those rounds I was very aggressive off the tee. I didn’t know what else to do.”
The bigger question is where he goes from here.
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