Say this for John Daly: the man knows how to attract attention.
Daly and controversy are playing partners from way, way back, and his PGA Tour discipline file, released recently as part of a court action, details in 456 mind-numbing pages detailing exactly what the golfer/reality show star has done to himself, his fans, his sponsors and the game of golf over the last 20 years.
Garry Smits of Jacksonville.com reviewed the file, and provides few of the choice bits:
• Daly failed to "give best efforts" during Tour events at least 21 times.
• Daly was disciplined for hitting a tee shot off the top of a beer can during a Pro-Am event. (You can see that shot right here.)
• Daly allegedly nearly hit an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent at a security checkpoint at the 2005 U.S. Open.
• Daly allegedly also smacked golf balls over the heads of spectators in bleachers at a 1993 golf clinic.
• The PGA Tour ordered Daly to counseling and/or alcohol rehab seven times.
• Daly's first violation came in April 1991 when he cursed out a playing partner; four months later, he would win the PGA Championship.
• Daly was suspended from the Tour in 1994 after getting into a fight with a fellow player after the player accused Daly of hitting into his group during the World Series of Golf.
• Daly was fined a total of nearly $100,000, suspended from the Tour five times, given probation six times, and cited for unprofessional conduct 11 times.
The PGA Tour has never released a player's discipline file to the public, but Daly's was released as part of a court case involving Daly and Morris Publishing. Daly had filed suit against Morris in 2005, and after he lost the case, the file became public record. The file extends to Daly's suspension from golf in late 2008 after he was found passed out at a Hooters in Winston-Salem, N.C. The file also includes letters, both positive and negative, from golf fans.
The revelations come as Daly is working to get himself back into playing shape. He hasn't won a PGA event since 2004, but he did make the cut at last year's British Open when Tiger Woods, among others, did not. He's also performed relatively well at some other events, but drama follows him like a shadow -- after a miserable round earlier this year at Torrey Pines, he proclaimed himself retired, then returned two weeks later at Pebble Beach. He's had lap-band surgery to drop more than 100 pounds (check the pictures), he's got the new reality show, and he's become -- of all things -- an underwear model.
Being reminded of his lengthy and colorful past can't be easy for Daly. But with any luck, it'll inspire him to make sure he doesn't add any more pages to the file.
PGA Tour file of John Daly details his many breakdowns [Jacksonville.com]
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