It wasn't long ago that it seemed as though John Daly's golf was no longer sufficient to prop him up as the PGA Tour's resident novelty act.
Apparently determined to remain relevant, Daly had lap-band surgery to help him lose weight and began working on his game with instructor Rick Smith.
The dividends have begun to pay off. Daly, playing on the European PGA Tour until his PGA Tour suspension is lifted, shot a final-round 66 on Sunday and finished in a tie for second at the Italian Open. Even more remarkable for a man whose life and career have been marked by wild swings, was his consistency: He shot 69 in each of the first three rounds.
It was his first top-10 finish in either a PGA Tour or European PGA Tour event since he lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff at the WGC-American Express Championship in 2005.
-- John Strege