The Daly Domino Effect - COPIED

By Brian HewittJanuary 6, 2009, 5:00 pm
The John Daly bandwagon has a broken axle for now. Long John, for a lot of reasons in a lot of places, has worn out his welcome in professional golf.
But the reaction to his recent six-month suspension by the PGA Tour is not a favorable one in all precincts.
Gerald Goodman, tournament director of the Tampa-based Transitions Championship (Mar. 19-22) says the loss of Daly to his field is a financial blow.
John Daly
John Daly will spend the first part of the year playing in Europe. (Getty Images)
Yes, Im disappointed, Goodman told John Daly is a draw. Our fans have related to him. And, yes, Goodman said, Dalys absence will affect The Transitions at the gate.
Daly had asked for and received a sponsors exemption to Goodmans event. But Goodman said he had heard hints that a suspension might be coming.
That suspicion was confirmed when Daly phoned Goodman to apologize for not being able to play in his tournament.
John has a history at our event, Goodman said.
Daly is a former mixed team event winner in Tampa where he paired with Laura Davies to capture the JC Penney Classic in 1999.
Daly also has another kind of history in Tampa. Last year at Goodmans event he returned from a rain delay with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden on his bag. More recently Daly spent a night in jail in North Carolina after being arrested, basically for public drunkenness.
Despite these incidents sources say Daly remains friendly with Hooters, the restaurant/bar chain that has served as one of his sponsors. Two Hooters executives are on Goodmans tournament board of directors in Tampa.
Goodman, by the way, wants to make it clear that he is not criticizing the Tours action to suspend Daly.
I hate that this happened, he said. But if it helps John Daly in the long run, Im all for it.
Tour spokesman Ty Votaw repeated Sunday that his organization will not comment on the suspension. Daly, who plans to play three straight European Tour events in the mid-East starting later this month, told the Associated Press he isnt even sure when the suspension started.
His agent chose not to comment Sunday when asked if Daly planned to appeal the suspension.
Right or wrong, Goodman said, there are only a few players in golf that people will actually buy tickets to see. John Daly is still one of them.
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    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.