Daly still swinging hoping for big turnaround in 2009
The two-time major champion told The Associated Press on Thursday that hes considering all of his options for 2009, including playing regularly on the European tour.
I know in Europe there are still a million opportunities to play, Daly said. Its a great tour. Guys on that tour have shown themselves and proved themselves to be great players.
Dalys play, however, has been far from great.
The 42-year-old Daly has made just five cuts in 16 events this year, bringing in just $56,017. His best finish was a tie for 40th at the Viking Classic and he plummeted to No. 737 in the world ranking. He hasnt had a top 10 in three years and his erratic behavior has cost him some of the support that made him one of the sports most popular players.
Daly blames some of his struggles on a mysterious rib injury that forced him to shorten his iconic swing and rendered one of the tours biggest hitters punchless.
I saw guys hitting it by me that never hit it by me before, said Daly, 16th in driving distance this year. I was like, theres definitely something wrong here.
Daly had surgery over the summer to deal with a cyst the size of a golf ball in his ribs. He says doctors found two small fractures deep in the rib that prevented him from gripping it and ripping it.
Hes feeling better, but the recovery process has been slow. Yet he says he still has the itch to play.
It was so long when I was hurt, shooting 71s to 75s and it was a matter of just one hole, he said. Now I feel like its all starting to come together. Id love to play four or five weeks in a row like I used to do. I cant do that because Im not exempt.
Daly will have to rely on the kindness of strangers to get his career back on track. He hopes to land a handful of sponsors exemptions to get into a few early PGA Tour stops next year. If he does that, he thinks he can play well enough to make some money and play his way back onto the tour.
I hope the tournament organizers that gave me exemptions last couple years when I was hurt see that and let me try it again, he said.
One definite stop next year will be Turnberry, site of the 2009 British Open. And he doesnt plan on going alone. Daly is auctioning the opportunity to join him in an effort to raise money for The John Daly Foundation.
The trip for three will include private jet to the tournament, the chance to play 18 holes at a local course with Daly, accommodations at Dalys villa and four passes to the clubhouse during the tournament..
If youre expecting the John Daly experience, however, youll be disappointed. While therell be plenty of cookouts, Daly says dont expect a trip to the pub or the local sports book.
They will get an idea of how hard it is what we do and theyll understand things people read and hear about John Daly arent always true, he said.
Maybe, but some things are. Even as he approaches his mid-40s he admits hes still hardly in peak physical condition. Hell never be a workout fiend, though he says he is watching his weight a little more closely.
And hes still playing golf, but doing it the Daly way. He spent last week in Missouri hosting a celebrity golf benefit, and is scheduled to make an appearance in Bowling Green, Ky., later this month at a charity golf tournament hosted by country musician Steve Azar.
After that hell probably head to Australia or Asia and try to hone his game before the 2009 season begins. If theres a tee and an invitation, hell probably take it.
Ive always got a place to play, he said. Thats what I need to do is play.
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry