JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — John Daly was so irritated that a Florida newspaper wrote about his PGA Tour disciplinary file that he referred to the writer as a “jerk” on Twitter and posted the writer’s cell phone number for his followers to call.
The Florida Times-Union reported Tuesday that the file is now public record through Daly’s unsuccessful libel lawsuit against the newspaper. The file is 456 pages and notes that Daly has been suspended five times and cited 21 times for not giving his best effort.
“here’s the JERK who writes NON-NEWS article on debut of my show — CALL & FLOOD his line & let’s tell him how WE feel,” Daly said on Twitter, adding the cell phone number of golf writer Garry Smits.
The story appeared the day Daly’s reality show made its debut on The Golf Channel.
Smits, the golf writer for the Times-Union, said he received about 30 calls after a series of three tweets late Tuesday night, and nearly 100 calls by early Wednesday afternoon. Smits said most of the callers hang up, and about 30 left messages.
“His fans are very unhappy,” Smits said.
Daly removed the tweets by midmorning Wednesday. He did not return a voicemail left for him, although he said in a text message to The Associated Press, “Gary left his cell number and e-mail address from phone number he left in the article public record far as I’m concerned.” He did not answer the phone after the AP received his text.
Bud Martin, president of SFX World and Daly’s agent, could not immediately be reached for comment. The PGA Tour said it would have no comment on Daly’s tweets.
“Over the haters – To me, this isn’t journalism, it’s paparazzi-like gossip. Please try harder to find some REAL news next time Gary,” said Daly’s second tweet.
It was followed by, “Gnight ALL but here’s GARY SMITS cell number in case you didn’t get it … non sports writer.”
The PGA Tour does not comment on player discipline, but it was forced to turn over Daly’s file to attorneys for the newspaper’s parent company when Daly sued for libel. The file is now public record.
The lawsuit was dismissed a year ago, and Daly was ordered to pay nearly $272,000 in legal fees.
The 456-page file includes several newspaper clippings and incidents that already have been reported during Daly’s tumultuous career. It also included some startling numbers – he was placed on probation six times, ordered to go to counseling or alcohol rehab seven times, cited for conduct unbecoming a professional 11 times and fined nearly $100,000.
Daly has not had his full PGA Tour card since 2006 and has been playing mainly on sponsor exemptions.