ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- John Daly, proving that he can indeed win again, shot a 7-under-par 64 Sunday for a six-stroke victory in the $800,000 B.C. Open golf tournament.
This was the second victory on the PGA Tour for Daly following his startling triumph at the 1991 PGA Championship.
'It's obviously a great feeling, especially since a lot of people didn't think I could win again,' Daly said. 'The last three days were definitely the best rounds I've ever played ... a wet golf course is an advantage to a big hitter, but my short game won it for me this week.'
Daly, the tour's longest hitter, birdied seven holes in his third straight bogey-free round on the tight, 6,966-yard En Joie Golf club. The $144,000 first prize in this community-sponsored tournament boosted his 1992 earnings to $367,155 and set a tour record for money won in a pro's first two years.
Jay Haas and Joel Edwards birdied the 72nd hole to tie Nolan Henke and Ken Green for second place at 12-under 272. Each earned $52,800, with Edwards scoring his highest finish in three years on tour.
'I thought I had a chance today, but John put us away early,' said Henke, the 1990 winner of this event, which is named after a nationally syndicated cartoon character created by Endicott native Johnny Hart.
'He made it look easy. He's so long that he can hit it past trouble off the tee and with it so wet he doesn't roll off the fairways. And he's hitting a wedge to greens where most of us are hitting 6- or 7- irons.'
Green, the first-round leader, birdied the first two holes Sunday but followed with 16 pars.
'I felt good coming off No. 2 green,' he said. 'But I'm not swinging real well and when the pressure is on, small flaws become magnified, which is what happened today.
'John is not a surprise. If you look at the history of this tournament, the winner has always been somebody either very long or very straight -- and he was both this week.'
Daly was accompanied to Endicott by his wife, Bettye, and their infant daughter, Shynah, from their new home in Castle Rock, Colo.
'I don't care what anybody says, the first tournament is definitely not the toughest to win -- the second is a lot more pressure,' said Daly, who has suffered 14 months in the spotlight since his storybook PGA victory. 'I hope this shows some younger players that you can hit it long and play aggressive and still win.'
Keith Clearwater's 69 put him alone in sixth place at 10-under 274, followed Jay Delsing and Rocco Mediate at 275 and Joey Sindelar and Mike Hulbert at 276.
Three-time NCAA champion Phil Mickelson, who played in the final group with Daly and Henke, played one of the tour's wildest rounds in recent history. The 22-year-old tour rookie, who entered the final round three shots off the lead, carded an eagle and four birdies against six bogeys and a triple-bogey for a 76. He finished in a seven-way tie at 278 that included Masters champion Fred Couples and former PGA champ Jeff Sluman.
The B.C. Open generally has trouble attracting a large number of top players because it falls late in the season and the weather in the northeast is unpredictable.
Players with ties to upstate New York have won the tournament four of the last eight years: Wayne Levi of New Hartford in 1984, Sindelar of Horseheads in 1985 and 1987 and Hulburt of Elmira in 1989.