John Daly has had a wild ride in professional golf with two majors (the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open) to go with his made-for-the-tabloids personal life, but one thing has always eluded him: the chance to represent the United States in the Ryder Cup.
Often called the Babe Ruth of golf for his supersized drives and appetites, Daly recently told a Canadian radio station that he feels like Ruth in another way, according to Gary Smits* of The Florida Times-Herald.
Not only does Daly feel slighted, but in a recent interview with a Canadian radio station, he equated his situation with that of New York Yankees slugger Babe Ruth, who desperately wanted to manage the Yankees, yet was never given a serious interview for the job by then-owner Ed Barrow.
"I feel like I'm the Babe Ruth of golf," Daly told the station. "He always wanted to be a manager and he never got that chance. But it's not something that breaks my heart or anything. As long as we hopefully win, that's all that matters."
Daly left out part of the Ruth story. Barrow once responded to a reporter's question about why he never considered Ruth to be a manager by saying, "He couldn't manage himself."
Still, in his prime, Daly had to have been one of the top 12 American players, right? Not exactly. Over at The Waggleroom blog, Ryan Ballengee explains why Daly never qualified for the team during his prime.
Conceivably, Daly had four real opportunities to make the Ryder Cup team – the matches between 1991 and '97 in Spain – at the peak of his career. Using the money list as a proxy for those teams is not exactly a bullet in Big John's chamber, though.
In '91, even with the PGA win, Daly finished 17th on the money list and made his impression too late for Kiawah Island. Though he won the BC Open in 1992, Daly had an otherwise terrible year – 20 places lower on the money list. Winless in '93, he was secured off of the team by finishing 76th in money that year. The pattern repeats again in '94-'95 — a win in the off year and a horrible Ryder Cup season other than the anomaly that is his Open Championship win.
*Yes, Gary Smits is the reporter who received angry phone calls from Daly fans after Daly posted Smits phone number on Twitter and asked his followers to harass him after Smits wrote a story about Daly’s numerous Tour suspensions. Tour Championship won’t miss Tiger, director says One of the side effects of Tiger Woods’ season-long slump is that it doesn’t matter as much when he misses a tournament. Woods is home in Orlando this weekend because he didn't qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, but his absence is not causing any hand-wringing at the tournament, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Officials at the Tour Championship expect life to go on this week at East Lake, even without the game's biggest draw.
"We're fortunate to have the No. 1 most-recognized athlete in the world in our sport," said Todd Rhinehart, tournament director for the Tour Championship.
"That draws people to the sport that might not normally be a golf fan. So from that perspective, he has impact. At the same time, we have the top 30 players for the whole season and who have played the best golf over the course of the last three weeks. It should only have a small impact for us."
Rhinehart said ticket sales are ahead of last year's pace and he expects to see the annual last-minute shopping spree that’s come to be the norm. Captain Pavin says Americans are the underdogs at Ryder Cup Team USA Captain Corey Pavin says his team is evenly matched with the Europeans but the homefield advantage makes Europe the favorite, according to the BBC.
"Given the advantage of playing over in Europe, I think that gives the edge to the European team," said Pavin.
The U.S. ended a run of three successive defeats with an emphatic victory at Valhalla in Kentucky two years ago.
"Traveling is always difficult and the fans will be a big part of it: 80-85% are going to be pro-European, " added the American captain.
"We're competing on a golf course that is played on their tour so the European players are familiar with the venue. And Monty (European captain Colin Montgomerie) gets to set up the golf course the way he wants to as well.
"We haven't won on foreign soil since 1993 so it's going to be a challenge but I think the teams themselves are very comparable. I am looking forward to a pretty good battle."
Stray Shots Stuff we noticed while wondering if the Golf Channel will experiment with announcing the next Nationwide Tour event entirely in pig Latin.
Harry Potter called Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and said he wanted his Ryder Cup uniforms back.
Las Vegas lists Phil Mickelson as the favorite to win the Tour Championship. Would that mean he’d win the FedEx Cup too? We’d crunch the numbers, but we sent our Cal Tech intern out to get hoagies. (Via The Spread.com) The Onion gets the inside scoop on Team USA’s secret Ryder Cup plan: “Drink and just keep drinking.”