A Daly reminder of the PGA’s despotism

Golf is an utterly beautiful form of intense frustration. So much can go wrong with every shot, be it a two-foot putt or a lengthy tee-shot off the top of a beer can ... yeah, you heard me. Late last month the buzz-killers at the PGA decided to suspend two-

Golf is an utterly beautiful form of intense frustration. So much can go wrong with every shot, be it a two-foot putt or a lengthy tee-shot off the top of a beer can … yeah, you heard me.

Late last month the buzz-killers at the PGA decided to suspend two-time Major champion John Daly for six-months, forcing the big-bellied long-ball artist to hop the pond and play the European Tour.

“Truly and honestly, I wish (PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem) would get to know the facts better before he makes a decision,” Daly said in an interview with the Associated Press. “I would love to sit down and have a nice talk with him, tell him what really happened. But perception is reality in the world, and sometimes they have to do what they have to do.’”

Like his drives in the 1991 PGA Championship, he’s right on the money—the PGA is acting on perception. Or, at least it looks that way—we don’t know many of the details and neither does Daly!

When asked about the PGA’s reasoning behind the suspension, Daly can only dubiously point to a few recent incidents.

Way back in June—that’s right, June!—the out-of-control Daly wowed fans by driving a ball off the top of a beer can. Did I mention that this was at a pro-am event, as in not a PGA tourney?

Three months before, in March at the PODS Championship, Daly emerged from a rain delay with a new caddy, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden.

I suppose that is cheating … somehow. But one would assume that if he was breaking the rules, he would have been disqualified.

Then last month, while nowhere even close to a golf course, Daly was brought into custody by North Carolina police after being found intoxicated outside a Hooters restaurant.

So he likes beer and big breasts—so much for me trying to get my pro-card.

(It should be mentioned that he was not arrested, just “assisted” according to North Carolina police.)

Ironically, Daly doesn’t list an incident at the Australian Open in December. In a moment of poor judgment, a frustrated Daly grabbed a camera from a fan and smashed it against a tree. (The $150 camera was later sold on eBay for $1,075 for charity.)

The Australian Open prohibits the use of cameras by spectators and, to make matters worse, the pinhead was using a flash.

“I was looking to take a drop and a camera was six inches away from my face. If I was 10 under, I would have felt the same,” Daly said in a released statement after the incident. “My eyes are still burning from the flash of the camera.”

Daly did offer to buy the guy a new camera.

Getting back to the matter at hand, no need to worry, Daly will be back on the PGA Tour … what was the date again? Oh, that’s right, not only did the PGA seemingly not specify his indiscretions, they didn’t provide a specific date for when he can return.

I guess they’ll give him a call and let him know. How convenient.

This is not the first time the PGA has chosen to provide no comment or release the details of a player suspension, but no one seems to question whether this is fair or despotic.

If this were to happen in any other major North American sport, fans would be up in arms to get an explanation from these Star Chamber types at the tour.

But this is golf; you’ll get shushed if you raise your voice.

Contact Tom Patrick at


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