JOHN DALY WRITES ANOTHER COUNTRY SONG
Ritter: John Daly crashed out of Tampa with a second-round 81 that included a 10 on the third hole. Will Daly ever be anything more than a traveling sideshow? Do you see a future for him on the Champions Tour?
Garrity: I don't understand how people continue be entertained by Daly, when it's clear that he's squandered his great talents and abused all those who have tried to help him. But I guess it's no different than jazz buffs, like myself, worshipping heroin addicts who can coax beautiful notes out of a horn. As for the Champions Tour, yeah, he'll be a star, might even win majors. The thing about John is, when he's healthy enough to contend, he'll win. That's because he never feels as much pressure inside the ropes as he feels just trying to get through a normal day.
Wei: As we've seen in the past, a large number happens even to the pros, but perhaps just more for John Daly. It's a shame that he's sort of a traveling sideshow because he has so much talent. Detractors say no one cares about him, but that's not true. He always has a massive gallery following him and living and dying by his every shot (hence, all the sponsor's exemptions). I actually do see a potential future for him on the Champions Tour. He still hits it relatively long. Three rounds and riding in a cart? Sounds about perfect for Daly!
Bamberger: If J.D. makes it to the Senior Tour it will be some kind of miracle.
Walker: Daly could have been the Babe Ruth of golf. He'll always be compelling the way Mike Tyson will always be compelling. And he's still the golfer most likely to get a face tattoo.
Van Sickle: The Daly planet is a Daly circus. I'm not going to rip him for the 10. He made a bad decision trying to play a shot out of the woods and once he made that mistake, he was trapped, pretty much like Kevin Na in his escapade. Long John could sure boost attendance and interest on the senior circuit. Whether he can beat those guys is another story. Mainly, though, he's got to make it to 50 first. A lot of us would've bet against that 10 years ago.
Gorant: The Champions Tour is all about the sideshow so he'll be perfect out there. He can deliver eyeballs, which are at a premium on the senior circuit, and they take things a lot less seriously, so that will suit him. He could be great for the Champions Tour.
Lynch: Let's leave aside why was he even in the field at Tampa, given that there are many more deserving of a spot. Having said that, he is the future of the Champions Tour. What would you rather watch? A 50-year-old Daly smacking long drives or Bernhard Langer grinding out wins? The senior circuit ought to be entertainment, and that's an element sorely lacking. It needs Daly.
Morfit: I think John is more than a traveling sideshow because he wants to win again and has the talent to do so if he can somehow put four rounds together. Yeah, we've been saying that a while--all the way back to before he won his last tournament at Torrey.
Godich: I am tired talking about John Daly. Real tired.
THE WORST HOLES OF OUR LIVES
Ritter: In honor of Daly, what's the highest score you've ever made on a hole? If it's not too painful, please provide the gory details.
Van Sickle: Playing Edgewood C.C. in Pittsburgh about eight years ago in high, gusty winds, I hit the second green in regulation -- no small feat. Two pretty good shots. The pin was all the way in the back on a narrow ledge and the wind was blowing toward the front of the green. It was going to be a three-putt, at best. I got my second putt past the hole so it would be on the flat part of the ledge. The next putt broke right and if I didn't make it, it was going downhill and downwind. Yup, I missed and I had 30 feet for my third putt. I repeated this process several times. Each time, I had a four- or five-footer that was do or die and each time, I missed. The other guys in the group said, "Ah, that's good, Gary," but I said, "No, I want to see how many it's going to take." I'm really trying on every putt. Punch line: I hit the green in regulation and nine-putted for an 11. As they say on TV, it was a challenging hole location.
Morfit: On strict orders from my therapist I've blocked out my brief but incredibly unsuccessful career in competitive golf.
Garrity: I honestly don't remember my highest number, but I don't think I've ever been in double figures as a grownup. I've usually been willing to chip out to the fairway or take an unplayable lie when necessary. I don't go "Tin Cup" on my sorry ass and take six swipes at my ball in the iceplant.
Godich: I made an 11 on a par-3 in the semifinals of a junior tournament at Stevens Park in Dallas back when I was about 10. I put my tee shot in a greenside bunker and couldn't get out. It was match play, but nobody thought to say I could concede the hole. I lost the match 1 up, on the 18th hole, and walked off that green in tears, convinced I would've won the match if I didn't need seven or eight swings to get out of that bunker.
Ritter: Early in a heated match during my junior year of high school, one of my opponents WD'd after getting stung on his hand by a bee. A few holes later, emboldened by having one less guy to beat, I plugged my second shot on a long par 5 into the face of a steep greenside bunker. Instead of taking a drop, I repeatedly tried to dig it out and ended up making an 11. On the bright side, thanks to that bee, I didn't finish last that day. High school golf was great.
Lynch: Anyone who can honestly answer this should be indicted for slow play. I pick up on terrible holes. Who the hell wants to see me grind over a 3-footer for a 15? Anyway, I'm like Nicklaus -- I erase all bad holes from memory.
Wei: I know in tournament play it's a 9 because it was so traumatizing. It happened at the 2004 NCAA Central Regionals in Nebraska. The weather was super crappy and there were thunderstorms and torrential downpours all week and we were definitely out there in unplayable conditions. I guess we also weren't so prepared for the weather, unfortunately. We were on a par 3 that really wasn't that difficult but it was raining super-hard and all my gear was soaked, especially my grips, and I didn't have waterproof ones. I dumped two in the water with what couldn't have been more than a 7-iron. It sucked because it was also my last competitive round in college, and to this day it still haunts me.
Bamberger: I made a 17. I don't remember much, but I do remember I three-putted.
Gorant: I made a seven on a par-4 once. It's too ghastly to relive. (Ha.)