Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Daly Dumped By Harmon, DQ'd by Palmer Invitational

This is a report I'd rather not post. The train wreck named John Daly has had a tough couple of days. He woke up yesterday to read that Butch Harmon had jettisoned him because he wasn't serious about rehabbing his game. He said that Daly was more intent on getting drunk than repairing his game. I suppose Butch's phone was broken? Then, after playing in the Monday pro-am, Daly began to experience a bizarre series of events that led to his disqualification from the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational for missing today's pro-am. Let's see if we can make even a modicum of sense from the madness.

Daly claims he was given the wrong information regarding his Wednesday pro-am tee time, a snafu that led to the disqualification of Nick O'Hern and Ryuji Imada as well. Daly claims he requested to play the Wednesday pro-am and called Tuesday for his tee time. He said he mistakenly was given 9:47 AM, which was his Thursday tournament, first round time. O'Hern and Imada thought they were afternoon alternates for the pro-am. When they were called to play because Daly didn't show, due to the tee time error for the pro-am, they weren't at the course and were disqualified as well. Still with me? I don't understand how Imada and O'Hern were supposed to know to be at the course as AM alternates when they were told PM. I'd be filing some sort of grievance if it were me. Perhaps a players union conversation will be resurrected. If all this escapade is true then it's a Keystone Kops situation for O'Hern and Imada fostered by the PGA Tour. Daly said he called Mr. Palmer, apologized, and things were patched up. Nobody ever accused Big John of not being gracious. I don't think O'Hern or Imada are quite ready for the apologies though.

Which leads to the question, what to do about Big John? We over idolize athletes in our country. They face the exact same problems we do. Family crises, substance abuse, depression, and the whole gamut of life's negatives. For us, average golfers, our trials aren't played out on the public stage. Added to that, it must be a difficult time to be a PGA Tour player in your forties. The Champions Tour is too far ahead and your skills have naturally deteriorated. The exception is a worker like Vijay, but he's an aberration, albeit a great one. It's too easy for me to say that Daly's lack of effort and potential substance abuse problems put him where he is today. I'm not privvy to his personal life, but an educated guess would lead in either, or both directions. It's just sad. Big John's "everyman" persona, combined with 320+ yard drives is a joy to behold. For his sake I hope he gets a handle on himself. I hope I can root for him again on a golf course. Right now he's made it impossible.

Til' next,

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