John Daly returning to PGA Tour at St Jude

By Doug FergusonMay 24, 2009, 4:00 pm
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John Dalys suspension on the PGA Tour is over, and the two-time major champion plans to return in three weeks for the St. Jude Classic and U.S. Open qualifying.
 
Daly was suspended for six months in November after a series of off-course incidents that brought negative publicity, the most recent a photo of him in an orange jail suit with his eyes half-closed after being locked up overnight in North Carolina to get sober.
 
He has played eight times overseas during his suspension, including a month in Europe, where he tied for second in the Italian Open.
 
I know Ill be ready to play, Daly said in a telephone interview from Wentworth, where he tied for 72nd at the BMW PGA Championship. Im not going to be (half-trying) like Ive done in the past. I know I may not play the Tour if something good doesnt happen. Its making me work harder.
 
Daly hasnt won on the PGA Tour since the Buick Invitational five years ago, and he has not kept his card the last two years, having to rely on sponsor exemptions and tournaments where he won, such as the British Open and PGA Championship.
 
He said he has received a sponsors exemption to the St. Jude Classic on June 11-14 in Memphis, Tenn., near his home. Daly said he also has received an exemption from the Buick Open the last week in July, and he is hopeful of others.
 
PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said the Tour does not comment on player discipline; it never confirmed that Daly was suspended, and now cannot confirm that a suspension has been lifted.
 
Daly told The Associated Press over the Christmas holidays that he had been suspended for the second time in his career, and he said he found out two weeks ago while playing in Ireland that he had been reinstated.
 
I dont really feel I deserved to be suspended, Daly said. But Im not going to dwell on it. Im going to turn it into a positive. Im getting my life back in order and Im more organized.
 
His agent at SFX Sports, Bud Martin, said Daly, 43, is not taking as many short cuts as he tries to get his game in order.
 
Hes been working on his game, working on trying to get his life together off the course, Martin said Monday. Hes had some signs of some good golf in Europe, and from talking to him on the telephone, I would say he sounds as good and as optimistic and is in as good of a place as I heard from him in 20 years.
 
I dont want to curse him, but Im cautiously optimistic.
 
Daly at least will look different than his last start on the PGA Tour, when he missed the cut at Las Vegas in October.
 
He had lap-band surgery on his stomach in February to restrict his eating, and says he already has lost 50 pounds in three months.
 
What Im eating in one week is what I used to eat in one day, he said of his 1,200-calorie per day intake. He also says he has not been drinking as much as before, and only sips when he does.
 
He signed a clothing deal with Sonoma, Calif.-based Loudmouth Golf, wearing trousers with wild and colorful prints, some of them looking like pajamas. Daly wore hot pink Sunday at Wentworth to pay tribute to Phil Mickelsons wife being diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
I love the reaction Ive gotten from the media and the fans in the U.K., he said. Its been a lot of fun.
 
Uncertain how many times he can play on the PGA Tour, he said he will continue to focus on The Race to Dubai on the European Tour. Daly already has played six times on the European Tour and is 94th in the standings. The top 70 are eligible for the $10 million Dubai World Championship.
 
Im enjoying it over here, he said. My big concern is the Race to Dubai. Im not sure if I can get in 15 (PGA) Tour events.
 
Daly said he has asked for exemptions to just about every PGA Tour event, although he will need to play at least three more times on the European Tour to be eligible for Dubai.
 
Asked if he would still be welcome on the PGA Tour, Daly said, I havent done anything to hurt any of the tournaments.
 
When he confirmed his suspension, Daly mentioned four incidents in 2008 that led to his time off:
 
  • Using former Tampa Bay Bucs coach Jon Gruden as his caddie following a rain delay at Innisbrook.
     
  • While promoting a golf course in Missouri, doing a regional television interview wearing only blue jeans ' no shirt, no shoes.
     
  • Revving up the fans at the Buick Open by using a beer can as a tee during the pro-am while playing with Kid Rock.
     
  • Spending a night in jail in North Carolina to get sober, and the subsequent jail photo that became an Internet sensation.
     
    He was asked to describe a perfect return in Memphis.
     
    A win would be great, he said. Im just happy to be playing again. I dont care where its at, as long as I can play somewhere.
     
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    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


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    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


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    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”

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    Harrington: Fiery Carnoustie evokes Hoylake in '06

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – One course came to mind when Padraig Harrington arrived on property and saw a firm, fast and yellow Carnoustie.

    Hoylake in 2006.

    That's when Tiger Woods avoided every bunker, bludgeoned the links with mid-irons and captured the last of his three Open titles.

    So Harrington was asked: Given the similarity in firmness between Carnoustie and Hoylake, can Tiger stir the ghosts this week?


    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I really don’t know,” Harrington said Monday. “He’s good enough to win this championship, no doubt about it. I don’t think he could play golf like the way he did in 2006. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn’t play that way now, either. But I don’t know if that’s the strategy this week, to lay up that far back.”

    With three days until the start of this championship, that’s the biggest question mark for Harrington, the 2007 winner here. He doesn’t know what his strategy will be – but his game plan will need to be “fluid.” Do you attack the course with driver and try to fly the fairway bunkers? Or do you attempt to lay back with an iron, even though it’s difficult to control the amount of run-out on the baked-out fairways and bring the bunkers into play?

    “The fairways at Hoylake are quite flat, even though they were very fast,” Harrington said. “There’s a lot of undulations in the fairways here, so if you are trying to lay up, you can get hit the back of a slope and kick forward an extra 20 or 30 yards more than you think. So it’s not as easy to eliminate all the risk by laying up.”