Every so often, when anxiety and uncertainty combine to undermine your sense of self, and control feels like it’s ebbing away from you, something thoroughly, shockingly predictable can help right the ship and impose a sense of order.
It could be the chiming of a clock, the passing of a bus, or maybe just John Daly engaging in some mid-round shenanigans at the Australian Open.
Yes, I’ve had a tough couple of weeks:
I was knocked down in traffic (twice!)– fret not; I suffered only a dislocated shoulder– lost my car in heavy flooding, and had to spend a fortnight shuttling my worldly goods to and from an apartment complex that had taken on the character of a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
But it’s reassuring to know that life goes on; the world doesn’t stop turning. Here, things may be frenetic, they may be disorienting, but somewhere, somehow, John Daly is in meltdown.
The two-time major champion negotiated the opening nine holes of his 2011 Australian Open campaign relatively safely before playing the wrong ball from a bunker on the tenth hole, an impulsive decision that incurred an automatic two-stroke penalty.
From there, things went severely, and predictably, downhill. Six, possibly seven, balls were lobbed into the water from the following tee, after which Daly dragged his son from the crowd and stormed off the course.
He later blamed the incident on a lack of balls, an excuse only true in the figurative sense.
It has also been suggested that Daly’s girlfriend shoved a cameraman as the pair departed the venue.
Unsurprisingly, tournament director Trevor Herden was left unmoved by the player’s excuses. He called on both the PGA and European tours to sanction Daly and made it clear that the American had made his last appearance at the Australian Open.
“It’s becoming a bit of a habit, something similar happened last week or the week before, but it’s unacceptable and I certainly hope that all the tours deal with it in the appropriate manner this time.”
“We are definitely disappointed in that attitude and that behaviour. It’s unprofessional.
“We’ve got to protect the sport and the image of this championship which is the real thing that I am totally upset with.
“We’ve got the best field ever and he wants to treat it like this, it’s just not good enough.
“I would say this will be the last time we see John Daly.”
The Australian PGA Championship has since revoked its invitation to the troubled star.
Ah, life goes on.
*Update: Here’s a clip of Daly’s failed Tin Cup moment and subsequent departure…