It is not uncommon or surprising when a player gets choked up or breaks down in tears after his first pro victory, especially when that victory is in a major championship.
Especially when that victory gives the player, who is accustomed to playing in Monday qualifiers, a two-year exemption on the tour he is playing.
But one year later?
That's when Joe Daley, the defending champion of the Constellation Senior Players Championship, began to recall what his victory at the Fox Chapel Golf Club last year meant to him and his career.
"It couldn't have been better for me, it really couldn't," Daley said Wednesday at the media-day preview to the tournament, which returns for its second year to Fox Chapel June 25-July 1. "Returning here brings back memories of trying to recreate what I needed last year. The karma ... it feels like coming home."
Daley, 52, had not won a pro tournament in seven years before his surprising victory at Fox Chapel, and he did it by outlasting three former major champions -- Fred Couples, Tom Lehman and Mark Calcavecchia -- with a score of 14-under 266. The $405,000 first prize was the largest paycheck of his career and more than double what he had made in a short stint on the PGA Tour.
Perhaps more important, the victory meant Daley no longer had to travel the country playing in Monday 18-hole qualifiers, hoping to shoot a low enough number to gain entry to a Champions Tour event. Now, he owns an exemption that puts him into every tournament. And, with no cut in their 54-hole events, he is guaranteed a paycheck every week.
"This really changed my life, with the opportunities it opened up for me," said Daley, his voice beginning to crack. "Prior to last year, I qualified into two events, which got me in the Senior PGA, and I had a good finish there, which got me in this event. And I capitalized. It allowed me more opportunities to play more, something I've had to adjust to over time. Going from being a Monday qualifier to getting into everything was big."
Daley has not done much since his two-shot victory at Fox Chapel.
His best finish in the remaining 12 tournaments in 2012 was a tie for 17th in the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. This year, his best finish in nine events has been a tie for 14th in the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship.
But returning this week to Fox Chapel brought back pleasant memories.
"When I won here, it was like jumping out of an airplane," Daley said. "It was the most natural-based high you can get. I had that high for a month. After a while, the wow factor went away. I don't want to say I was resting on my laurels, because I wasn't, but it was something I wasn't used to."
But Daley is accustomed to playing at Fox Chapel, a course on which he said he is "comfortable" because it reminds him of the courses he grew up playing the Philadelphia area.
"There is a familiarity of being here that is comforting to me," Daley said. "I can't express how good that feels."
Don't worry. The tears did.
NOTES -- After re-routing the course last year for the tournament, Fox Chapel will use its usual layout for this year's event. ... Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie, who will be making his Champions Tour debut at Fox Chapel, are notable additions to the field. So is Greensburg native Rocco Mediate, who won his Champions Tour debut in February. Couples, the 2011 champion, has not committed. Greg Norman, who played last year for the first time, is not expected to return.
Gerry Dulac: email@example.com; twitter: @gerrydulac.