A couple of days ago, I remarked on pro golfer John Daly's weekend in west Florida where he missed the cut at a PGA event and wound up spending an inordinate amount of time drinking at a place called the Hooters Owl's Nest off the 17th hole and mingling with fans, then followed that up by visiting the Phillies' training camp and hanging out with baseball players. I didn't even mention that after a rain delay on Thursday, he picked up Tampa Bay football coach Jon Gruden as a caddy for the rest of the round. Daly's two-day score was 158.
After writing that, I heard from a few golf fans and the gist of their comments was, and I paraphrase: Lighten up, the guy is just having a little fun, stop picking on him.
Here's an actual reader comment: "Another athlete basher looking for some media friction. Too bad you don't know the real person and how much he does for kids and families that need help !! Instead, you lash out at him because he is not as prim and proper as you think you are ! GET A LIFE !!"
Really, Daly is the kind of guy I'd like to able to root for. He's a regular-guy kinda guy that many of us, me included, can identify with. But he is as self-destructive as they come.
Now, comes word that legendary swing coach Butch Harmon has had it with Daly. Harmon, whose impressive client list has included Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson, took note of what happened last weekend and said, "I've let him know that after his actions of last weekend, we are no longer together. In all honesty, I'm a very busy person. I'm willing to help the kid, but until he helps himself and makes golf his No. 1 priority, I'm not his guy."
I'm not sure who Daly can turn to if he wants to get his professional life back on track. He has survived just three cuts in seven tries so far this year and he's getting his tournament rides on sponsor exemptions. He should be in Orlando right now for the Arnold Palmer Invitational that starts tomorrow. Hopefully, he can some focus at a tournament that bears the name of a guy who personified that quality.