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.
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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