Monday, October 8, 2012

John Daly Is A Disgrace

That headline was prompted by the 86 John Daly shot in the third round of the 2012 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Charity Open in Las Vegas.

It's harsh, but not without sympathy. Like many golf fans, I root for Daly to turn it around. But, really, it's time to give up on that idea. He's in his 40s now and heading toward the Champions Tour - where he'll be the same as he is on the PGA Tour: A huge draw for fans, an unstable golfer. A guy tournaments and fans will never be able to count on to give his best effort or even to finish out an event. But if you're Daly, why put in the work? No matter what he does, his fans still love him.

If any other golfer on tour pulled the stuff that Daly pulls on a regular basis, he'd be a pariah - with both fans and his fellow competitors. He might even be banned by the tour.

But before Daly became a problem-child, he became a folk hero with his coming-out-of-nowhere, bombing-drives, good-ol-boy-schtick at the 1991 PGA Championship. He's not changing now.

The shame about Daly's 86 are multiple: It followed a 63; he was (and still is) in contention for a tour card for the first time since 2006; it wasn't even his worst score in a tour event (here's a list of those). Other tour golfers have terrible days too, days when nothing seems to go right, yet they somehow fight and scrap and try their best to avoid scores like 86. Daly just gives up, pouts, feels sorry for himself - and basks in the sympathy of his adoring fans. He's a loser, but apparently a lovable one.

Here's a look at another Daly blow-up, this one in which he walked off the course after hitting all his balls into the water:

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