Long John benefits by a lighter feel in Germany
A decision by John Daly to lighten his 'Grip it and rip it' approach to the game is continuing to pay dividends as evident by a four under par 68 on day one of the BMW International Open in Cologne.
Daly again attracted one of the biggest followings on the Gut Larcenhof course and also out scored playing partners and potential European Ryder Cup qualifiers, Paul Lawrie of Scotland (72) and Alvaro Quiros of Spain (73).
Daly captured the prestigious German event in 2001 in Munich, and didn’t drop a shot and attributing his good form to a putting tip from long-time friend, Lance Awe.
Awe caddied for the double Major winning Daly for three events while his regular caddy, Peter Van Der Reit was recovering from surgery.
And with Awe on the bag, Daly posted a final round 64 to grab a share of 19th place in his last event, the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
“I have pretty much loosened up my grip on everything and particularly the putter, so as to get more feel,” said Daly.
“Lance caddied for me a couple of weeks ago in the States and helped me with that. He’s from Texas and I’ve known since I was 16 as we went to school together in Missouri. He is one of the best putters I’ve ever seen.
“He caddied for me at the Colonial and a few other events, and said ‘why don’t you do what you did when you were 16’ so I figured I would take his advice”.
And for a first time in his career, the double Major Champion was carrying five woods in his golf bag.
“I’ve always played with blades as I hit my long irons really low but seeing how soft the course, and the fact that so many other guys out here have hybrids.
“They are a lot easier to hit and I am really still getting used to them, and no offence to the senior players but I feel like there senior clubs.”
However Martin Kaymer, and the highest world ranked player in the field at No. 13, left the course far from pleased in shooting a 71.
“I am a little disappointed as I made only two birdies all day with so many chances out there,” said the German.
“I didn’t drive the ball all that well, and it’s also a shame the greens are not as good as they used to be here in the past.”
Australia's Marcus Fraser, 33 holed a 35-foot birdie at 18 to forge one stroke clear of the field on eight under par before being joined by Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti who posted two eagles in a similar score.
Three players, the England duo of Chris Wood and Danny Willett, along with 45-year old Irishman Paul McGinley share third place on seven under par.
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