August 14, 2010
John Daly has won five PGA Tour events in his career, including two major championships. He's arguably the third most recognizable name in the game of golf. His win at the 1991 PGA Championship will forever go down as one of the most bizarre yet coolest stories in major championship history.
But above all that, the man known as Big John will forever be remembered as the guy that couldn't finish a damn golf tournament. That was never more apparent than Friday at Whistling Straits where, for the second straight year, Daly withdrew from the major he has a lifetime exemption into. He cited a shoulder injury. How does that not surprise you?
If Daly is anything, he's the golfing version of a hypochondriac. If there is something that can be wrong with his body when the ball isn't going in the hole, you can bet your house it will.
Since 2000, John has withdrew from 26 PGA Tour events. It is his M.O. It never comes when Daly is four or five-under at an event, it's when he's playing like he was this week. John shot a 76 in the first round, and was five-over in his second round, miles from the cut line that would eventually form at 2-over.
For golf fans, and the PGA, this is frustrating. Quitting is something we all have ingrained in us as a bad thing, but it seems when the going gets tough, Daly falls back on two simple letters: WD.
For a man that was a pretty exceptional athlete in the last decade, there are going to be a few things we remember about him, and none will be good; beer cans and Kid Rock, scratches on the face, merchandise out of a van, and his consistency in leaving events before he's supposed to.