(CNN) -- Argentina's Daniel Vancsik coasted to victory in the Italian Open as John Daly served notice he can still compete at golf's top level by finishing in a tie for second.
Vancsik proved unstoppable on the final day as he carded eight birdies.
Vancsik had dominated all week in Turin and a superb final round 65 saw him claim his second European Tour victory by six shots on 17-under 267.
But the media spotlight fell on the battle behind him as 43-year-old Daly birdied the 11th, 14th, 16th and 17th for a 66 and 273, the same mark as England's Robert Rock and Raphael Jacquelin of France.
South African Thomas Aiken was a shot further back in fifth.
Daly, who had dazzled the galleries all week with his colorful clothing, was playing only his second tournament in four months and is serving a six-month ban from the PGA Tour after a series of lurid headlines.
But "Wild Thing", who has shed 20kg after having a gastric band fitted, is immensely popular with golf fans and will now head for the Irish Open.
"That should be a blast," he told the official European Tour Web site.
"I am way ahead of where I thought I'd be and I'm very happy," he added.
The $132,000 pay check for joint second will also be welcome for Daly who is rumored to be nearing bankruptcy.
"Everybody knows I need the money," he admitted.
He should also move up nearly 350 places in the world rankings from 794th.
Vancsik also made a nonsense of his 420th place on the world rankings as he carded eight birdies and two bogeys on the final day.
"My putting was fantastic," he said.
"Now my goal is to get into a Major."
Rock and Jacquelin both closed with a 68 to deny Daly joint second but could make little impression on the leader.