Thursday, July 15, 2010

John Daly Turns Into Mild Thing And It Works

When you consider all that has happened at the Old Course in the centuries that golf has been played here, few match John Daly's victory in the Open Championship here 15 years ago for pure curiosity.

Even Daly didn't know what to say in 1995 when he won.

Just imagine if what began with a first-round 66 today were to result in another Daly victory at the Old Course.

That's getting way ahead of things, considering Daly's 6-under par score Thursday was just part of an ambush on the Old Course, which was left defenseless by a day of heavy rain and not a breath of breeze, at least through the morning.

Considering Daly's mercurial nature, nothing's for sure until it happens -- good or bad. But maybe -- just maybe -- he'll hang in contention this weekend because he loves the Old Course with all its quirks and oddities. He's an odd bird himself so it's, strangely, a good fit because he can swing his driver as hard as he wants and hit it past much of the trouble. It's comforting to him. Peaceful is the word he used.

On the trip over to Scotland, Daly told his girlfriend he was going to win this week. That's not his style. He's usually apologizing for something, not setting his expectations impossibly high.

He looks good. He weighs around 195 pounds after lap band surgery a couple of years ago. He can't eat as much as "of the crap" he once did and he says he's quit drinking. Hasn't had a beer since the surgery in 2008, he said.

Daly had a cigarette in his mouth playing the 18th hole Thursday and a cup of Diet Coke in his hand. Those are his remaining vices. A man can't give up everything.

Once known as Wild Thing, Daly suggested he's more "Mild Thing" these days.

For one day, maybe more, he was the John Daly we haven't seen in a long, long time.


Anonymous said...

Where's Phil's name on the leaderboard? Oh that's right:

1. It's the British Open
2. He only wins Master's + 1 PGA
3. With only 4 majors in 20 years, he wins a major on average every 5 years. Since he won one in April, we'll have to wait 4+ more years

Anonymous said...

Rather see him play than Tiger anyday. Just my personal opinion. SHAME on arrogant folks at Quail Hollow for not offeting a sponsor exemption. I guess they feel idiots like Brad Faxon are a better fit.