Daly Gambling not Drinking Could Ruin Me

By Associated PressMay 2, 2006, 4:00 pm
PGA Tour (75x100)CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Typical of how he plays, John Daly holds nothing back in his new book.
 
There are stories of how he lost 60 pounds in college by drinking a fifth of whiskey and smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. One of the longest chapters is devoted to sexual exploits with his four wives and a woman he calls 'Almost Ex No. 4.' In a harrowing account, he writes about the time his father put a gun to Daly's head in a drunken rage.
 
Exclusive Video: Daly talks to The Golf Channel about his book and his vices
 
But all anyone really needs to know about Daly is this -- he named his second daughter after a rehab center.
 
John Daly
John Daly said he has lost between $50 million and $60 million gambling.
That would be 'Sierra,' as in Sierra Tucson, the Arizona clinic where Daly spent three weeks in January 1993 after trashing his Colorado house so badly the police were called.
 
Clearly, this isn't the stock variety of PGA Tour player autobiographies.
 
'John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough' will be in bookstores Monday, and no one will mistake it for Ben Hogan's book on the fundamentals of modern golf.
 
'It's the truth. I'm not going to sidestep anything,' Daly said Tuesday. 'It brings back memories of stupid stuff I've done in my life, and good stuff. It was honest.'
 
And it is sure to enhance his grip-and-rip-it reputation.
 
Some highlights:
 
-- He got disqualified from a junior event in Atlanta when officials found a bottle of whiskey in his bag.
 
-- Forced to lose 60 pounds at Arkansas if he wanted to play on his college team, he once went three days without hardly any food, drinking four bottles of whiskey until he passed out in his room and had to be taken to the emergency room.
 
'But you know what? My cigarettes-popcorn-whiskey diet worked,' Daly wrote. 'The pounds just peeled right off. By Christmas, I'd lost 65 pounds. I probably ought to have written a diet book or something.'
 
-- He said he has lost between $50 million and $60 million during 12 years of heavy gambling, and owed $4 million to casinos until he won the 1995 British Open, which enabled him to pay off the debt. Daly says Callaway Golf took care of a $1.7 million gambling debt when he signed an endorsement deal in 1997, after his second stint in alcohol rehab.
 
The second trip to rehab was the Betty Ford Center. For those wondering, Daly's next child was a boy.

No doubt, the book is causing great consternation at PGA Tour headquarters, where commissioner Tim Finchem rarely misses the chance to talk to players about upholding their clean image. Finchem called Daly on Monday to discuss the book. Daly called their conversation 'positive,' whatever that means.
 
'It's tough to match what the tour wants with what the publisher wants,' Daly said.
 
Finchem said Monday that nothing in the book violates PGA Tour regulations. The only violation in question falls under 'conduct unbecoming a professional,' although such conduct isn't spelled out in the players' handbook.
 
Even if it were, Daly has an answer for that, too.
 
'My life is unbecoming of a professional,' he said. 'It's hard to state it in anybody else's words.'
 
Daly's lifestyle borders on depravity. His actions lie somewhere between irrational and irresponsible.
 
He has trashed hotel rooms in South Africa and Florida, and stood in the kitchen of his Colorado home breaking everything he could touch. Given handsome appearance fees to play around the world, he has rewarded tournaments by tanking rounds or getting disqualified. It is rare to see him without his gut hanging over his belt and a cigarette dangling from his lips.
 
Yet he remains one of the more popular figures in golf. Perhaps people relate so well to Daly because everyone has flaws, and everyone knows about his. In an era when celebrities deny anything that might be remotely disparaging, Daly hides nothing.
 
Will the book cost him any fans?
 
'I hope not,' Daly said. 'I might gain some.'
 
The book is sure to put him in demand, and perhaps he can use the money to support his gambling habit. Daly says he lost $1.65 million in five hours -- mostly on a $5,000 slot machine -- after losing in a playoff against Tiger Woods at a World Golf Championship last year in San Francisco.
 
He said Tuesday it was an innocent mistake. He had never seen a $5,000 slot machine.

'Twenty pulls is $100,000,' he explained.
 
Clearly, there's more to Daly than a few drinks, a few smokes, a few wives and more than a few tugs on the slot machine.
 
He gave $30,000 to the family of a man killed by lightning at Crooked Stick in 1991 after he won the PGA Championship -- as a rookie, when $30,000 meant something to him. Daly met the victim's daughters last year. Both had graduated from college because of his gift.
 
He raises $60,000 a year for the Boys & Girls Clubs in Arkansas, and the John Daly Make-A-Wish Foundation Tournament has raised $5 million over the last 12 years.
 
And there are times when Daly knows his priorities.
 
He wrote about winning the British Open at St. Andrews and facing a dilemma. Wilson and Reebok, his corporate sponsors, were on the phone with agent Bud Martin, desperate for Daly to get out to the Swilcan Bridge for a promotional picture. The sun was setting, so there was no time to spare.
 
But hold on -- the president was on the phone and wanted to talk to Daly.
 
'My first thought was ... the president of the United States wants to talk to me,' Daly wrote. 'But then Bud pointed out that Wilson and Reebok were putting $4 million a year in my pocket, and all Clinton was doing was taking 40 percent away.'
 
He went to the bridge.
 
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.