Daly blasts Harmon once again

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2008, 4:00 pm
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Open ChampionshipSOUTHPORT, England -- John Daly was 1-under Wednesday at the British Open without even picking up a golf club.
 
That is, he got under the skin of one of his former coaches, swing guru Butch Harmon, who cut Daly loose in March after saying he was devoting too much time and effort to partying and too little to practicing.
 
John Daly
John Daly, with cigarette, plays during Wednesday's practice round. (Getty Images)
'I think his lies kind of destroyed my life for a little bit,' Daly, a two-time major champion, said during a wide-ranging news conference on the eve of the tournament.
 
'I don't know what his problem is,' Daly added, 'but he needs to stay as far away from me as he possibly can.'
 
Daly said Harmon's comments cost him endorsements and caused him considerable pain, in part because they echoed the criticism he caught early in his career about being lazy, occasionally reckless and often turning to alcohol in the face of mounting problems.
 
But Daly insisted his reputation was overblown, despite recent evidence to the contrary. He was seen in one video at a Branson, Mo., golf course that bears his name wearing only a cap and blue jeans -- no shoes, socks or shirt -- while playing with a local TV anchor. In another video, he appears in a Flint, Mich., pro-am with rocker Kid Rock and hits a ball off the top of a full beer can, spraying foam around the tee box.
 
'I'm eating too much, but I'm not drinking hardly at all, and I never go out,' Daly said. 'So it's funny to just sit back and look at it. I guess that's just the way my life is going to be for a long time because of my past.'

Harmon, though, wasn't in the mood to apologize for anything he said about his former pupil. He'd worked with Daly only three times this year, but said there was no chance he could help him improve without a real commitment.
 
'I'm sorry JD feels that way. I like JD,' Harmon said at the practice range after hearing about Daly's comments. 'He's a good guy. But he needs to step up to the plate and take responsibility for his actions instead of blaming everybody else.'
 
The incident that led Harmon to dump Daly came during the PODS Championship. Daly ducked into a Hooters corporate tent during a 2 1/2-hour rain delay in the first round, already 3 over, and when play resumed, he'd replaced his caddie with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden. Daly shot 77, then followed that up with an 80 and missed the cut.
 
Harmon said the caddie swap 'made a circus of the event,' but saved his real ire for Daly's weekend antics. With Saturday off, Daly turned up at the Hooters 'Owl's Nest' lounge at the course, drinking beer with fans and signing autographs.
 
'My whole goal for him was he's got to show me golf is the most important thing in his life,' Harmon said in March. 'And the most important thing in his life is getting drunk.'
 
The next week, Daly was kicked out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational for missing his tee time in the pro-am, triggering a TOUR rule that automatically makes players who miss the pro-am ineligible to play the regular tournament. Daly blamed a woman in the tournament office for giving him the wrong starting time.
 
He also said Wednesday that Gruden offered to caddie at the PODS Championship after Daly's regular bag-toter was hurt, and that his Saturday appearance at the Hooters lounge was at the behest of tournament officials, hoping he could help raise more money for charity.
 
'I just wish he wouldn't have said the things he did that made you guys write some pretty bad things about me when not really anybody had the facts,' Daly said. 'That kind of hurt me a little bit.'
 
Daly lost his full PGA TOUR card two years ago and relies mainly on sponsor exemptions to play tournaments. His last win came in 2004, and he blamed injuries for the steady decline in his play since. He said he decided to play here against his doctor's advice.
 
'I've got tendinitis in my left elbow, and I had a cyst in my right hand ... that we thought was arthritis. So it's just been one thing after another,' he said. 'I'm just looking forward to playing.'
 
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  • If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.

    National champion Sooners meet with Trump in D.C.

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 17, 2017, 11:10 pm

    The national champion Oklahoma men's golf team visited Washington D.C. on Frday and met with President Donald Trump.

    Oklahoma topped Oregon, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2, in last year's national final at Rich Harvest Farms to win their second national championship and first since 1989.

    These pictures from the team's trip to Washington popped up on social media late Friday afternoon:

    Rookie Cook (66-62) credits prior Tour experience

    By Rex HoggardNovember 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – Austin Cook is a rookie only on paper. At least, that’s the way he’s played since joining the circuit this season.

    This week’s RSM Classic is Cook’s fourth start on Tour, and rounds of 66-62 secured his fourth made cut of the young season. More importantly, his 14-under total moved him into the lead at Sea Island Resort.

    “I really think that a couple years ago, the experience that I have had, I think I've played maybe 10 events, nine events before this season,” Cook said. “Being in contention a few times and making cuts, having my card has really prepared me for this.”


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    Cook has been perfect this week at the RSM Classic and moved into contention with four consecutive birdies starting at No. 13 (he began his round on the 10th hole of the Seaside course). A 6-footer for birdie at the last moved him one stroke clear of Brian Gay.

    In fact, Cook hasn’t come close to making a bogey this week thanks to an equally flawless ball-striking round that moved him to first in the field in strokes gained: tee to green.

    If Cook has played like a veteran this week, a portion of that credit goes to long-time Tour caddie Kip Henley, who began working for Cook during this year’s Web.com Tour finals.

    “He’s got a great golf brain,” Henley said. “That’s the most flawless round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

    Cook fires 62 for one-shot lead at RSM Classic

    By Associated PressNovember 17, 2017, 10:26 pm

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook made a 6-foot birdie putt on his final hole for an 8-under 62 and a one-shot lead going into the weekend at the RSM Classic.

    Cook has gone 36 holes without a bogey on the Plantation and Seaside courses at Sea Island Golf Club. He played Seaside - the site of the final two rounds in the last PGA Tour event of the calendar year - on Friday and ran off four straight birdies on his opening nine holes.

    ''We've just been able to it hit the ball really well,'' Cook said. ''Speed on greens has been really good and getting up-and-down has been great. I've been able to hit it pretty close to the hole to make some pretty stress-free putts. But the couple putts that I have had of some length for par, I've been able to roll them in. Everything's going well.''

    The 26-year-old former Arkansas player was at 14-under 128 and had a one-stroke lead over Brian Gay, who shot 64 on Seaside. No one else was closer than five shots going into the final two rounds.

    The 45-year-old Gay won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2013.


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    Full-field scores from the RSM Classic


    ''I've hit a lot of greens and fairways,'' Gay said. ''I've hit the ball, kept it in front of me. There's a lot of trouble out here, especially with the wind blowing, so I haven't had to make too many saves the first couple days and I putted well.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. He earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour, and has hired Gay's former caddie, Kip Henley.

    ''With him being out here so long, he knows everybody, so it's not like I'm completely the new kid on the block,'' Cook said. ''He's introduced me to a lot of people, so it's just making me feel comfortable out here. He knows his way around these golf courses. We're working really well together.''

    First-round leader Chris Kirk followed his opening 63 on the Plantation with a 70 on the Seaside to drop into a tie for third at 9 under with C.T. Pan (65) and Vaughn Taylor (66).

    Brandt Snedeker is looking strong in his first start in some five months because of a sternum injury. Snedeker shot a 67 on the Plantation course and was six shots back at 8 under.

    ''I was hitting the ball really well coming down here,'' Snedeker said. ''I was anxious to see how I would hold up under pressure. I haven't played a tournament in five months, so it's held up better than I thought it would. Ball-striking's been really good, mental capacity's been unbelievable.

    ''I think being so fresh, excited to be out there and thinking clearly. My short game, which has always been a strength of mine, I didn't know how sharp it was going to be. It's been really good so far.''