Elder trio of Daly, Couples and Montgomerie a sight to behold

Even though they lack the "flat bellies" of youth, they supplied a fine set of sights in that peculiar allure the "elderly" can have in golf.

John Daly hits his approach shot to the 13th green.
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In some sense, you have not lived until you have seen John Daly in aqua trousers that resemble an impressionist painting of an aquarium at the No 10 tee with the Dubai Marina skyline as backdrop at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Or, no, wait, in some sense, you have not lived until you have seen Daly and Colin Montgomerie shoulder to shoulder on No 18, waiting for Fred Couples to make an eagle putt while gazing upwards as a hot-air balloon lifts off and hovers above.

No, no, really, you have not lived until you have walked along No 8 and overheard Couples say to Daly … "I don't know if you like Ceasar salad, but ..."

Really, though, this is the best: you have not lived until you have seen that glass of soda.

Daly has set it down in the dirt off the left side of No 5, as he addresses his wayward ball and seeks the green around the palm trees.

The glass has green tinting. The ice cubes have melted almost completely, and the soda waits to do what soda does, which is to go down the gullet and commence the gradual destruction of some organs.

Whack, and Daly's shot curls brilliantly around the tree, to the green.

The marvels persist.

There they were in a trio, all day at Emirates Golf Club, a collective 146-plus years among them if you add in the months, a collective 112 professional wins, a collective 37 European Tour wins and 20 US PGA Tour wins and three major titles.

And even though they lack the "flat bellies" of youth to which Lee Trevino used to refer - and fear -late in his career, they supplied a fine set of sights in that peculiar allure the "elderly" can have in golf.

A good-sized cluster of willing viewers followed them all through the day, and that included Samba Niang.

The 23-year-old Senegalese, who played the inaugural Mena Tour last year, had just landed yesterday morning from Dakar. Niang attended high school in Santa Barbara, California, where Couples became a sort of a mentor of Niang's golf team, to the extent that Couples even took one of his sets of clubs and simply gave them to Niang, which the young hopeful used for the ensuing four years.

Then again, just to see Couples waiting protractedly to tee off at No 13, tan tee in mouth, sunglasses pulled over brim of white cap, was to think: look at him, still cool at 52. He shot a two-under par 70, and Daly shot a 71, and Montgomerie a 71, and they were just plain fun to watch.

Montgomerie reached the green at No 6 and, as he reached down to mark the ball, joked with spectators about how he had required a wood to get there, unlike the two bangers whose drives had outdistanced his.

Sometimes you could look across a fairway and see Daly over there operating in a veil of cigarette smoke, beneath a palm tree.

Couples shipped a dream of a pin-high approach to No 18 and almost made eagle. Montgomerie saved par from all over the place on No 13.

At No 6, they all made birdie and it seemed like 1995.

At No 9, theatrics.

Daly, a heady fourth last week in Qatar at age 45, still glowed at three-under par when he arrived on the left side of the fairway for his second shot.

That approach sat on the green, then decided to trickle off leftward into the water.

Montgomerie followed with one that sat on the green, then decided to trickle off leftward on to the stone embankment adjacent the water.

Couples made a tidy birdie amid this. Daly took a drop, sent another approach to the right of the last one, but watched it, too, roll over to take a dive in the pond.

The gallery murmured.

Montgomerie chipped and it went straight up, hit the edge of the green and rolled back close to where it started.

Daly dropped on the other side of the fairway from his last drop, and chipped gorgeously, drawing cheers.

Montgomerie chipped expertly to pretty much the back door of the hole.

Montgomerie made bogey five, not bad factoring in an embankment, and Daly found the only big blight on his fine round with a triple-bogey seven.

Some sights, even on a good day, you had rather not see.

Round 2 selected tee-off times

Hole 1
07:30    Fasth, Del Moral, Maybin
08:40    Boyd, Denison, Storm
11:30    Finch, Wall, Kjeldsen
11:40    Edfors, Olesen, Willett
12:00    Campbell, Jaidee, Stenson
12:10    Olazábal, Luiten, Lewis
12:20    Grace, Colsaerts, Dyson
12:30    Björn, F Molinari, A Hansen
12:40    Lawrie, Westwood, Noren
13:00    Van Zyl, Cabrera-Bello, Larrazábal

Hole 10
7:10    Wattel, Fisher, Horsey
7:40    Ramsay, Fisher, E Molinari
7:50    Rock, Quiros, McIlroy
8:00    Kaymer, Hanson, Jiménez
8:10    Montgomerie, Couples, Daly
8:30    Foster, Hoey, Coetzee
11:30    Siem, Noh, Davies
11:40    Horne, Little, Singh
12:20    Jamieson, Gagli, Bourdy
12:40    Gonnet, Hebert, Al Musharrekh