By Sue Ann Rybak
Joe Daley, who was born in Chestnut Hill and graduated from Plymouth Whitemarsh High School won the 2012 Constellation Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Country Club in Fox Chapel, Pa., on Sunday, July 1, despite having two former British Open champions and one former Masters champions as opponents.
The 51-year-old Daley, who now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., won his first Championship Tour title finishing with a two-under-par 68 for a 72-hole score of 14 under 266 and a two-stroke victory over Tom Lehman, the 1996 British Open champion. Daley outdueled final-round players Mark Calcavecchia (72) and Fred Couples (71).
A relative unknown, Daley quit his job as a credit manager in 1992 at age 32 to pursue a career as a professional golfer.
After working on his game for 20 years, his hard work and relentless pursuit of success finally culminated in his championship win on July 1.
The victory earned Daley $405,000 and an exemption on the Champions Tour through July 1, 2013.
In an interview following the final round of the Senior Players Championship, Daley said he consulted his caddy, Patrick Keef, before making the 21-foot shot.
“I just picked my spot above the hole because I knew it was gonna break the fall line hard right and it did,” Daley said. “I had it with the right speed, and it went in – so wow – what else can I say? It doesn’t get any better than that for me.”