Dalys Appeal a Mystery But Its Genuine

By George WhiteJanuary 28, 2002, 5:00 pm
Hes 35 years old, entering what you would call early middle age. And 35-plus years has left its mark on him ' the wild partying days of being a wealthy young man, the cold reality of being drunk and contemplating suicide, the days of being sober but having an addiction to chocolates.
 
John Daly is pudgy - granted. Hes got lines where there shouldnt be lines. He smokes cigarettes like they were toothpicks. He has never spoken such thoughts, but he probably has nightmares of the times when he would painfully put a peg in the ground and want to stay there ' its called a hangover.
 
But theres one other thing about John Daly and all those life experiences - hes become a pretty consistent golfer. The man who was careening down a path to early ruin has at last started to pick up top-10s in bunches.
 
It started last year, and its picked up this year. Sunday was an almost ' he led the Phoenix Open at one time but just couldnt quite finish. He wound up two shots behind winner Chris DiMarco in a tie for fourth.
 
A funny thing happened, though. The people just love him, regardless of what he does. My wife is crazy about John, and Ive struggled to understand it. I think its because that, in all the times hes botched it up, he humbly admits hes wrong and tries to do better. And he's made a sincere ' if sometimes flawed ' desire to make it right.
 
Its been awhile, though, since he had to say the mea culpas. Lately, it sounds like the world is right by J. Daly. One thing is impressive ' he refuses to say he will win, or even that he will contend this year. He loves what is happening to him at this moment, though, as he told the writers gathered at Phoenix.
 
So, is John Daly back?
 
I dont know, he said honestly. I just love the way Im striking the ball. And you know, I just hope we get some more contention rounds, and maybe one day Ill come out on top.
 
The galleries, of course, are completely dazzled. Again, its a bit mystifying. Theres nothing in the world that is slick, no funny one-liners and no smooth wise-cracks. He isnt Fuzzy or Trevino. But his popularity has grown to the extent that it is almost unimaginable.
 
Daly admits to being a bit mystified, too. He hears the crowds, he knows something special is going on. But hes as clueless as I am about the popularity thing.
 
I dont know, he says, a bit bewildered by it all. I think people kind of relate to what Ive gone through. Everyone knows about my life, all Ive been through, the good things, the bad things. And I just think people relate to that.
 
Winner Chris DiMarco was Dalys playing partner the third round at Phoenix. He was just an anonymous face with a funny putting grip. But hes so happy that good fortune has begun to smile on John.
 
You know, I guess ' you know, Johns a great guy, said DiMarco. He really is. Hes fun to play with. They (the fans) love him, and they let him know about a thousand times a hole.
 
Daly felt completely at ease, but then he must feel at ease all over the country. He walks out to putt a little, smack a few drives, loosens up ' and the fans welcome him like some kind of long-lost brother.
 
I mean, its amazing, he said. Everywhere I go, it feels like home. You know, its just good to be playing good for the fans. It means an awful lot to them, and it means an awful lot to me.
 
Daly may have quit the carousing, the boozing, the brooding, the stray women, but one thing he hasnt quit is the smoking. Too many things at one time ' or so he says. His colorful language is funny when he tries to describe it.
 
Hell, Ive quit too much other (stuff) to worry about quitting smoking, he said, and stuff came out sounding suspiciously like spit. I mean, theres probably two things Im not going to quit ' sex and smoking ' right now.
 
Zoeller calls him Piggy, referring to his former days as an Arkansas Razorback. Piggy is now in the sty, just living life at its most basic. He has stopped running around trying to be a wild man, not feeling like he has to experience every one of lifes emotions before he dies. He plays golf now. Period.
 
Its a new feeling every day ' I mean, when I play, said John. Its a great feeling. Its something that ' you know, I just ' I just love it.
 

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.