Daly Reacts to DQ Harmon

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 13, 2008, 4:00 pm
John Daly talked with GOLF CHANNEL Wednesday about his disqualifcation from the Arnold Palmer Invitational pro-am, and subsequently not getting to compete in the tournament.
 
He also spoke on the incidents from last week's tournament, the PODS Championship. Here is the full transcript from his interview:
 
On his Disqualification:
Peter was here, my caddie. We left at 8:30 to go to the golf course to play the Pro-Am. I was right almost at Gate A when Mark Russell said I missed my tee time. I said, No I was supposed to go off at 9:47. He said, No, you were at 8:40. I said, That is kind of weird because we called the tournament yesterday when I was out here at Celebration practicing and that was the time the lady gave us.
 
The weird thing was why Peter didnt think we should call back was I thought I was going to go early because that is what I requested. Robert [Gamez] said the first time isnt going to be until 8 anyway because it is going to get light at 7:30 with the time change. So we didnt even think about calling back. So thats cool. No big deal.
 
Its just sad that Nick OHearn may be disqualified. Him and Imada. I heard Ian Poulter, if he wouldnt have been out there this morning, that he wouldnt have gotten his time because he thought he was late.
 
It is just unfortunate stuff like this happens. I feel bad for Arnold because he gave me the spot. Had a great hug from him in the Monday pro-am on number seven. I love him to death. First time in 17 or 18 years that I have ever missed a tee-time. I feel responsible for it but I just feel bad this had to happen with all of the other crap going on in my life. I would never miss Arnold Palmers Pro-Am if he wanted me to play. I would never miss that tee time. Unfortunately I just got a bad time.
 
Ive always played pretty good here. I think Arnold inspires me and makes me play a little better. I dont know. Ive never won here. Ive had some great finishes and some good rounds. I feel bad for all this to happen. Ive got to take the responsibility. I should have checked my time again.
 
On Splitting with Harmon::
You know I havent seen the articles. I didnt watch the Golf Channel last night. But Butch didnt call me to let me know. I just texted Butch to say, I just wish you would have called me, thats all. I said, I love you like a brother. You're the greatest golf coach, anywhere. I think you are better than anybody. This is unfortunate. I just wish he would have called me, thats all.
 
On Events during PODS Championship::
Peter has had a neck problem for about the last two months. Jimmy has popped him back in. His neck was killing him. It got cold. And I said Peter, lets get Coach to caddy the last six or seven holes because darkness was going to come. I mean, it wasnt like, you know, Peter was hurt. So, no problem, it was great for the tournament. Everybody loved it.
 
Same thing Saturday at Tampa. Gerald, the tournament director, says Do you want to go to the Owls Nest? I said yeah I am already going because Hooters wants me to be there. Sign hats. Talking to the fans and having a good time. This thing about flipping a camera guy off. Well, we may have done it in fun. Half the time I take pictures with guys they want me to flip the picture off because that is what they want. We were having a good time. Nobody was loud. I thought it was good for the tournament. Hooters loved it. I sat there and ate, had a few beers with Peter. Wasnt drunk or anything. I was there for four hours signing things. It was a good thing. But now it seems like this guy who wrote this article about me flipping off the camera guy, I guess he just doesnt like me. But it wasnt anything mean or anything. It was fun. That is just the way my life is going right now. You think you are doing somebody a good thing and somebody just wants to bring it all down. If that is how they want to live, then so be it. I cant live that way.
 
Related Links:
  • Daly Misses Pro-Am, Out of Bay Hill
  • Insider: Harmon Done with Daly
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    McIlroy gets back on track

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

    There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

    He is well ahead of schedule.

    Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

    “Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

    To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

    And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

    Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

    “I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

    The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

    The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

    But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

    Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

    Everything in his life is lined up.

    Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.