Golf Talk Live - John Daly Transcript Segment 2

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 20, 2000, 5:00 pm

PETER KESSLER
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU FIRST BROKE ONTO THE SCENE IN '91 AFTER WINNING THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, PEOPLE TALKED ABOUT YOU A LITTLE BIT LIKE THEY TALK ABOUT TIGER TODAY.

YOU WERE THE BIGGEST HITTER AND STILL ARE. PEOPLE STARTED TO APPRECIATE THE TOUCH THAT YOU HAD AROUND THE GREEN. AND, OF COURSE, IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, PEOPLE HAVE CONCENTRATED NOT ON YOUR GOLF BUT EVERYTHING BUT.

DON'T YOU MISS THAT? DON'T YOU MISS THEM TALKING ABOUT THE GREAT AND HIGH QUALITY OF YOUR GOLF GAME AS OPPOSED TO WHAT'S GOING IN YOUR LIFE TO KEEP YOU FROM PLAYING THAT GREAT GOLF?

JOHN DALY
WELL, I THINK I HAD SPENT ALMOST 4 YEARS WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING OFF THE GOLF COURSE AND IT TOOK AWAY MY TIME ON THE GOLF COURSE. AND UH .

YOU KNOW UM, YOU'RE RIGHT. I MEAN - BUT I HAVEN'T GIVEN ANYBODY ANYTHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT 'CAUSE I HAVEN'T PLAYED AND I - VERY WELL. AND I HAVEN'T WON ANYTHING SINCE THE BRITISH OPEN.

UH, IT WAS A GREAT WIN FOR ME IN ORDER - TO WIN THE JC PENNEY. UM, YEAH, IT BOOSTED MY CONFIDENCE GOING INTO THIS YEAR.

UM, YOU KNOW, I PLAYED OKAY AT THE HONDA, WHICH IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A GREAT GOLF COURSE FOR ME AND STUFF. BUT MY GAME IS JUST - HASN'T COME AROUND. AND UH,

I AM WORRIED ABOUT IT. I'M SUCH A COMPETITOR THAT I, YOU KNOW, I GET ANGRY AT MYSELF AT SOME OF THE STUPID MISTAKES I - I MAKE ON THE GOLF COURSE. AND, YOU KNOW, I - I TRY AND .

I TRY AND WATCH TIGER PRACTICE A LOT AND DAVID DUVAL AND - AND THE GUYS THAT ARE JUST PLAYING GREAT GOLF. AND UM, YOU KNOW, I'M TRYING TO FIND ANYTHING THAT CAN HELP ME WITH MY GAME AND .

UM, BUT ALL I NEED IS . I - I NEED - I'VE SET GOALS TO TRY AND HIT MORE FAIRWAYS. I'M SETTING GOALS TO BASICALLY TRY AND HIT MORE FAIRWAYS. AND - AND MY PUTTING WAS SO BAD THAT I'M TRYING TO TAKE A LITTLE MORE TIME.

YESTERDAY PROBABLY WASN'T (CHUCKLE) A GOOD SIGN 'CAUSE I WASN'T TAKING ANY TIME. I WAS FRUSTRATED. BUT UH, JUST - THERE'S JUST A LOT OF THINGS THAT I - I HAVE TO GET OUT OF BAD ROUNDS.

AND YESTERDAY I REALLY DIDN'T GET ANYTHING OUT OF IT BUT A - A WASTED ROUND OF GOLF IN MY OPINION.

PETER KESSLER
TELL ME ABOUT YOU AND YOUR DAUGHTERS. WHAT KIND OF A DAD ARE YOU?

JOHN DALY
OH UM, I THINK I'M A GREAT DAD. UM, I HAD THEM THIS WEEK AT BAYHILL. UM, SO I SPENT AN AWFUL LOT OF TIME WITH THEM. UH, YOU KNOW, THEY - THEY STAY WITH ME AND IT'S LIKE THEY'RE .

WHEN THEY'RE WITH ME, THEY'RE GOING TO BED AT 11:30 AT NIGHT, WAKING UP AT 4. 'DADDY UH, LET'S GO TO MCDONALD'S.'

4 O'CLOCK, YOU KNOW . 'NO, NO, I'M TIRED. YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT OPEN YET, GIRLS. MCDONALD'S DOESN'T OPEN UNTIL 5:30.' YEAH, I DO KNOW THAT BECAUSE I GO THERE EVERY MORNING ABOUT 5:30, GET THE BIG DIET COKE AND .

BUT 4:15 COMES AROUND, 'DADDY, LET'S GO TO MCDONALD'S.' SO I MEAN, I HAD . I HAD A FUN WEEK WITH MY DAUGHTERS. AND I - I REALLY DIDN'T CONCENTRATE ON GOLF THIS WEEK. UH .

I WANTED TO PLAY LIKE A LOT OF PLAYERS DO. THEY WANT TO PLAY 'CAUSE IT'S ARNIE'S TOURNAMENT. AND UM . BUT I - I WASN'T SO UPSET THAT - THAT I PLAYED REALLY BAD. IT WAS NICE TO MAKE THE CUT AND ALL.

BUT I HAD SO MUCH FUN WITH MY LITTLE GIRLS. UM, SIERRA LIVES IN PALM SPRINGS AND SHYNAH, OF COURSE, LIVES HERE IN ORLANDO. AND IT WAS GREAT THAT SIERRA COULD COME HERE AND SPEND 7 OR 8 DAYS WITH HER DAD, AND WE JUST HAD A BLAST.

PETER KESSLER
WHEN YOU'RE WITH THEM OR WHEN THEY'RE AROUND, DO YOU SOMETIMES SIT AND THINK TO YOURSELF ABOUT SOME OF THE CRAZY THINGS THAT YOU'VE DONE OFF THE GOLF COURSE

THAT'S JEOPARDIZED YOUR LIFE, JEOPARDIZED YOUR RELATIONSHIP, THEREFORE, WITH YOUR GIRLS AND MAKE YOU WANT TO SORT OF RETHINK THE 'JOHN DALY OVERALL PLAN'?

JOHN DALY
(CHUCKLE) WELL, IT'S UM . I - YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ALCOHOL, I DON'T DRINK AROUND MY DAUGHTERS. UM, THAT'S A COMMITMENT I MADE TO MYSELF. UM .

I JUST UM . YOU KNOW, I CAN'T WORRY AND DWELL ON - ON PAST ARTICLES AND - AND PAST THINGS THAT I'VE DONE IN MY LIFE. IF I DO THAT, I'LL NEVER GET BETTER. I'LL NEVER GET BETTER AT GOLF AND I WON'T BE A GOOD DAD.

I JUST HAVE TO TRY AND - AND LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES UM, THE BEST THAT I CAN. AND UM, WHEN THEY GET OLD ENOUGH AND THEY READ ABOUT THE STUFF THAT - THAT I'VE DONE, I'LL JUST HAVE TO SIT DOWN AND EXPLAIN TO THEM AND .

THAT HEY, DADDY WAS A LITTLE CRAZY, YOU KNOW. BUT UH, I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF CRAZINESS IN - IN ALL OF US. AND LIFE'S NOT EASY. I MEAN . UM, THE GOLF CAN MAKE YOU MENTALLY CRAZY,

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE . I KNOW I'VE GOT TALENT. AND I KNOW I'M - I KNOW I CAN WIN AGAIN OTHERWISE I WOULDN'T KEEP PLAYING.

BUT IT'S VERY DIFFICULT WHEN IT DOESN'T GO GOOD. AND YOU KNOW, IT SEEMED LIKE WHEN I WON THE BRITISH OPEN IN '95, IT SEEMS 20 YEARS AGO. IT JUST SEEMS SO LONG SINCE I - SINCE I WON A TOURNAMENT ON TOUR

AND ACTUALLY EVEN BEING IN THE HUNT. BUT WE - JUST GOT TO SET LITTLE GOALS FOR MYSELF AND GO OUT THERE, DO THE BEST I CAN. UM, THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, I'VE NEVER PLAYED GOOD THERE.

I MIGHT HAVE PLAYED GOOD THERE ONE YEAR. IT'S NOT A GOLF COURSE SET UP FOR MY GAME. I'VE . YOU KNOW, I'VE TRIED TO HIT IRONS OFF THE TEES. AND UM .

I'VE TRIED TO PLAY IT VERY AGGRESSIVE AND I'VE TRIED TO PLAY IT, YOU KNOW, REAL CONSERVATIVE. AND I'VE NEVER BEEN COMFORTABLE IN THE TEE BOXES THERE. AND SO THAT MAKES IT VERY, VERY TOUGH FOR ME.

PETER KESSLER
ARE YOU PRACTICING? ARE YOU WORKING HARD ON YOUR GAME RIGHT NOW, REALLY WORKING HARD?

JOHN DALY
I HAVE BEEN. LAST - THIS LAST WEEK AT BAYHILL, I - I DIDN'T GO TO THE RANGE BUT ONE TIME. I JUST . MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY WASN'T . MY MIND WAS ON GETTING BACK TO SEE MY DAUGHTERS THIS WEEK - OR LAST WEEK. AND UM .

SO I - I DIDN'T REALLY EXPECT TO DO ANYTHING GREAT A BAYHILL. I WAS VERY SURPRISED I MADE THE CUT. UH, IT SEEMED LIKE I TRIED TO MISS IT. BUT,

YOU KNOW, I WORKED REALLY HARD TO GET IT TO 2-UNDER AFTER 17 HOLES AND SNAP HOOKED A DRIVER OUT-OF-BOUNDS ON 9 AND . AND MADE DOUBLE, MADE THE CUT. BUT UM,

YOU KNOW, NEXT WEEK I WANT TO WORK VERY, VERY HARD THIS WEEK ON THE - ON THE PLAYERS. I - I REALLY DON'T EXPECT MUCH AT THE PLAYERS. I NEVER DO WHEN I GO THERE. UM, IT'S JUST SO HARD FOR ME, THAT GOLF COURSE.

BUT IT'S A BIG PURSE. THERE'S ALWAYS A CHANCE THAT THE TOUCH MIGHT COME AROUND. AND THAT'S WHAT I'M BASICALLY WAITING ON. UH,

NOWADAYS, I KNOW TIGER CAN WIN EVERY WEEK. I DON'T THINK MY GAME CAN DO THAT. BUT WHEN I'M ON, IT'S SO MUCH FUN. AND - AND I'M NOT THE MOST CONSISTENT PLAYER IN THE WORLD, AS WE KNOW, BUT WHEN I'M ON, IT'S JUST THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD.

AND MAYBE I'LL BE ON THIS - THIS WEEK, I DON'T KNOW. OR - IT JUST SEEMS LIKE MY GAME RISES TO ANOTHER LEVEL A LITTLE BIT WHEN I PLAY MAJORS. AND UM, SO I'LL TELL YOU WHAT,

I'LL TAKE THE 4 MAJORS AND I DON'T CARE IF I EVER WIN ANYTHING ELSE AGAIN 'CAUSE THAT'S . TO ME, THAT'S WHAT GOLF IS ALL ABOUT, TO BE ON TOUR IS TO WIN THE MAJORS.

PETER KESSLER
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THAT, 'I'LL TAKE THE 4 MAJORS AND I'LL HAPPILY RETIRE.' WE'LL BE BACK IN JUST A MOMENT WITH MAJOR CHAMPION, JOHN DALY.

AND AS WE LEAVE YOU FOR JUST A MOMENT, A GRAPHIC OF THE ACTIVE MULTIPLE PROFESSIONAL MAJOR WINNERS UNDER THE AGE OF 40. YOU'RE STILL UNDER 40, RIGHT JOHN?

(GRAPHIC SHOWN:
ACTIVE MULTIPLE PROFESSIONAL
MAJOR WINNERS UNDER THE AGE OF 40
MAJORS
JOHN DALY 2
ERNIE ELS 2
LEE JANZEN 2
JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL 2
TIGER WOODS 2 )

JOHN DALY
OH YEAH. I GOT 7 MORE YEARS BEFORE I GET THERE, PETER. (LAUGH).

PETER KESSLER
WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

(BREAK)
NEXT SEGMENT
Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.

"The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."

He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).


Click here for full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship


Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Web.com Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

“Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."

Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.

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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.