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Daly Wins in US for First Time Since 1994

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- John Daly shot a 3-under-par 69 Sunday to win the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational, his first tournament victory in the United States in almost a decade.
 
Daly, who finished at nine under par to claim a one-shot victory over Jim Thorpe and Bo Van Pelt, said he had not won in the United States since the 1994 BellSouth Classic. He has not won a PGA Tour event since his 1995 British Open title.
 
'I know it's not the AT&T or the U.S. Open, but it's great to win at Pebble Beach,' Daly said. 'I don't care what kind of tournament it is.'
 
Daly is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. He missed the cut, withdrew or was disqualified from his last seven PGA Tour events this season and finished 171st on the money list, the second worst finish of his career.
 
But last month he won the Korean Open, and then hung on to win here despite a bogey on the final hole.
 
'All I wanted was to begin the final hole with a two-stroke margin, so I didn't have to hit driver on 18,' said Daly, a late entrant who drove to the tournament in his motor home. 'I bogeyed the hole, but that's alright.'
 
Daly, who won $60,000, began the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with unheralded PGA Tour players Michael Muehr and Todd Fischer at 6-under-par 210.
 
But after two birdies and a bogey on the front nine, Daly began to pull away from the field on the back nine, making birdies on 11, 12 and 13.
 
'I finally like the way I am swinging,' said Daly, who last earned at PGA Tour check when he finished 35th last August in the Buick Open. 'I'm choking down on my irons and hitting three-quarter shots and I now I know I'm not going to hit it left.'
 
The tournament featured 55 players from the four major tours, plus club pros and amateurs. Women and Champions Tour players received tee-shot distance advantages.
 
Janice Moodie shot a final-round 72 to finish at 283, four shots back of the winner.
 
Thorpe, one of five Champions Tour entrants, shot 69 Sunday, including a birdie on the 18th to move to 8 under par.
 
Van Pelt, who played the 2003 Nationwide Tour and earned a PGA Tour card for next season, also shot 69.
 
Muehr shot 71 to finish alone in third, two shots back of Daly. Fischer faltered to a 74 and finished tied with three others five shots back.
 
Defending winner Mark Brooks had a final-day 69 and finished at 286, seven shots off the pace.
 
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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