Daly's chipping practice pays off in PGA event

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — John Daly works harder on chipping and putting than any other part of his game. It paid off Friday at the BMW PGA Championship.

Daly chipped in three times - once from a bunker and once for eagle - on the back nine at Wentworth as he turned an otherwise mediocre round into a 1-under 71 that ensured he made the halfway cut.

"We are going to miss shots and greens and it's nice when you can get them up and down," Daly said. "That's why I work harder on chipping and putting than anything in my game ever."

Making it to the weekend for the third time in the fourth event of his five-week European visit was important for Daly after he missed the cut in last week's Irish Open. But he's still uncertain about the state of his game.

"I'm not hitting my irons that good and I just can't get a good feel off the tee boxes," Daly said. "And a couple of bad, errant 1-irons today got me in a little trouble."

It was his driver that got Daly into trouble on Thursday, and he's still not happy with that club.

"I'm going to take it out of the bag and hit 3-wood the rest of the week. I just can't get comfortable off the tees hitting driver on any hole," he said. "I'm hitting my 1-iron good and I'm hitting the 3-wood decent."

Daly is coming back after a six-month suspension by the U.S. PGA Tour in November following a drinking incident. He finished joint second at the Italian Open, his second tournament on his European Tour after last month's Spanish Open.

In February, he underwent gastric-band surgery after his weight soared to 280 pounds. He has lost about 60 since then.

"Now, I have a lot more stamina," he said. "I can actually keep up with the guys that I'm playing with now and not kind of stay way back walking slow."

After holing a chip at the 13th to save par Friday, he bogeyed the 14th and 16th. But he holed his bunker shot for birdie at the 15th and chipped in for his eagle at the 17th.

"I had a good look at the chips I had. The chip-ins were the only thing I did well today," said Daly, who will play in next week's European Open at The London Club. "I know this is the fourth week I've played, but there is still a lot of rust on my game.

"The confidence level is not really high but it's getting better."

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