BMW Masters: Pain-free John Daly opens with a bogey-free four-under 68 in Shanghai
Last Updated: 25/10/13 8:05am
Colourful John Daly speaks to his caddie during Thursday's opening round in Shanghai
John Daly is enjoying a new lease of life after recovering from surgery to his right elbow.
The larger-than-life American returned to action on Thursday following three months of recuperation.
A two-time Major champion, Daly opened his account at the BMW Masters in Shanghai with a four-under-par 68 and is alone in second spot behind compatriot Luke Guthrie.
Daly's bogey-free round leaves him well placed to post his best result of the season so far - he is yet to register a top-40 finish in 16 starts during 2013.
And the big-hitting 47-year-old was satisfied with his play at Lake Malaren where difficult windy conditions meant only three players broke 70.
"After not playing a competitive round in about 14, 15 weeks, it felt pretty good."
Daly said: "After not playing a competitive round in about 14, 15 weeks, it felt pretty good.
"It's been ailing me for probably six years and the last four have been really brutal for this elbow.
"To finally get the surgery done is great. It's nice to be able to pinch chips and three-quarter golf shots again which I haven't been able to do in a long time.
"It's good to be out playing again. Those 14, 15 weeks were the longest I've spent in one place I can ever remember."
Daly, making the most of a sponsor's invitation this week, won the PGA Championship in 1991 followed by The Open at St Andrews four years later.
He last competed at the Greenbrier Classic on July 3 when he withdrew due to injury.
As for his first round in China, he added: "I putted OK. Just hit a lot of greens. It's just one of those days where you just want to survive."
Watch all the action from the Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai from 5.30am on Sky Sports 1 HD on Friday and Saturday and from 4.30am on Sunday