Daly in the hunt

The forgiving conditions at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club played right into John Daly’s hands.

The forgiving conditions at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club played right into John Daly’s hands.

The long-hitting Daly charged into contention at the Buick Open, firing an eight-under-par 64 that left him just one shot off the lead midway through the tournament.

It matched the best round of the year for Daly, who ended a nine-year PGA Tour victory drought at the Buick Invitational in February but missed the cut at the British Open and finished 79th at the Booz Allen Classic in his last two starts.

Daly completed 36 holes at 10-under 134, leaving him in a four-way tie for fourth with Stewart Cink, Olin Browne and Paraguay’s Carlos Franco, last week’s winner at the US Bank Championship.

“It was a good round for me,” Daly said. “I needed a round like this to get some confidence.”

Despite being one of the tour’s biggest hitters, Daly was not about to say that the wet conditions have been advantageous for him.

“I don’t think so, because the course, it is not a tremendously long course,” Daly said. “It has been a while since we have had four par-5s on a golf course, too. I have not been reaching the par-5s in two as easy you would if it were dry.”

Daly recorded three of his eight birdies on par-5 holes, the last coming at the 16th. In his opening-round 70, he also had a trio of birdies on par-5 holes.

“I hit it pretty solid,” said Daly, who also shot 64 in the second round of the Nissan Open in February. “It is very difficult to hit the fairways out here. I had a lot of first-cut fairways, or just in the first cut off the fairways.”

Defending champion Jim Furyk, Billy Andrade and first-round leader Vijay Singh of Fiji share the lead as Warwick continued to offer little resistance.

Tiger Woods, still seeking his first win of the year in a strokeplay event, is lurking just two shots off the pace after a 68.

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