Daly had already finished regulation and was preparing for the victory ceremony after Rocca missed the 18th green at St. Andrews with his second shot. It was a poor chip, rolling back off the green and into the Valley of Sin, which appeared to hand Daly the Claret Jug.
The ball was 70 feet from the flag, down the swale ' but Rocca holed it! He fell to his knees at the unbelievable turn of events, then pounded his fists on the ground in celebration.
The emotion is unbelievable, Rocca said. After second shot to 18 ' it blows my head. Then I hole putt. Give me another chance. Then I hole second putt ' nobody is supposed to hole that putt.
Unfortunately, the championship didnt end there. Daly had fit so well with St. Andrews all week, booming drive and drive and putting adroitly. More than anything, he played the Old Course exactly as it should be played mentally, even on Sunday in gusts which reached 50 miles per hour.
His punch hook at the Road Hole 17th was a beauty, for example, rolling up to 12 feet and leading to a birdie. Several of the par-4s he reached off the tee, as a matter of fact, and many of the par-5s he had only short irons for approaches.
The playoff was all Daly. Rocca bogeyed the first hole, No. 15, and triple-bogeyed the 17th. When it was over, Long John was the one standing.
What the hell do you want me to say? he shot back at the media which wanted a reaction to the victory. Man, this is awesome.
More British Opens of the Past