May 28, 2009

John Daly Asked Me To Tell You This

"Tell them I don't even go to Hooters."

That's an exact quote.
And I believe him.

I had a Twitter conversation last night with John Daly (yes, that John Daly) where I relayed to him the comments that Golf Channel Senior Writer Rex Hoggard made about him last night on the Grey Goose 19th Hole Show.

Specifically, Hoggard said that "[Daly is] putting himself in the right position to succeed against all odds but we've heard it all before the proof is in pudding.

There are no Hooter's in Europe. He is in best case scenario for his career. Let him finish season over there, get into Race for Dubai and back into competitive mindset and away from some of the people who had enabled him in the past. It's a win win or everyone involved if he stays [in Europe.]"

Maybe so, but that's something for John Daly to decide. John is a grown man, and he and his management team know what's best for his career and for him personally. No one should be presumptuous enough to make those calls for him. At the same time, Hoggard has every right to his opinion, and last night when he was asked for it, he gave it. Fair enough.

I inferred, based on our exchange (which you can read in the Twitter feed at the right), however, that Daly didn't care for the Hooter's part of what Hoggard had to say. I can understand that. I don't know John Daly personally, but it's very obvious that he is making every effort to start fresh and break away from the trends of old. There aren't any Hooter's restaurants in Europe, true, but Daly undertook this fresh start before he ever headed overseas, and it's reasonable to assume (once again, not knowing him personally) that he'll continue his upward trend when he comes home to resume playing on the PGA Tour. Saddling Daly with his past is unfair, and indeed, Daly deserves a chance to make that pudding that the proof will be in.

Me, personally, I wish him the best. I've seen John Daly play in person, at his best and once at his worst. The best was at the 2004 Buick, the worst was at the 1999 US Open when he was disgusted with the domed Donald Ross greens at Pinehurst and slapped a moving ball away while in competition. The latter came when John said he was far less than pleased with the way the USGA put pins on the edges of the treachorous Number Two's greens, and having played that course myself, I can attest to why he might have felt that way. Imagine having to drop a ball on a green as slick as the hood of your car -- and needing it to stop on the hood ornament. Good luck with that.

When he is "on", like he was at that Buick, he is one of the best golfers I have ever seen, and I have watched Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Watson, Trevino and yes, Tiger and Phil play from outside the ropes. Woods himself has remarked that Daly is one of the best talents he has ever seen for himself on the golf course, and you have to take that praise as being what it's worth, coming from one of the top golfers ever and one not given to handing out fawning praise unless he believes it. So yeah, from a personal standpoint, I would love to see Big John make a roaring comeback and to maximize his awesome potential.

Difference is, I am not going to prejudge him or saddle him with his past in his comeback attempt. He deserves that from me as a fan and as a fellow human being.


  1. I have been guilty of judging JD's 'problem' and, of course, I have the solution.

    Thanks for writing this. I realize any problem he may be experiencing, IF he has a problem, is none of my business. And, for me to recommend anything to a perfect stranger because I happen to be an alcoholic is definitely not fair to John. It never has been the desire of one alcoholic to label another person. Only that person is certain of their relationship with drugs and alcohol.

    Thanks, again...

  2. We're admitted JD fans as several articles we've written show.

    I saw the exchange on twitter...and one thing bothered me about it.

    JD made a point about not being 'in' Hooters. But that he was passed out (sleeping? from drinking? that he didn't specify) in a parking lot of Hooters, left there by his 'so-called friends'.

    Ok. Fair to clarify what happened, but unfortunate that he finds it even worth splitting hairs over this point when the bigger issue is um...1:30am, sleeping/passed out...arrested (if memory serves).

    I think JD's done nearly everything right so far in his return. He needs to accept that his past is as part of him as his gregarious personality and long swing, and learn to let some things go and not worry or try to rationalize or explain them...but just note them as 'the past'.

    We are still pulling for him.


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