Mar
14
2014
John Daly breaks new ground in Tampa, shoots 90
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour
Whoops, he did it again...but worse!
Since 1997, John Daly has shot at least one round in the 80s on the PGA Tour. Well, he took it a step further on Friday at the Valspar Championship, posting a remarkable 19-over 90 at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course.

Daly missed a five-footer on the 18th hole to card the career-high score.

The two-time major champion was a victim of the “Snake Pit,” more specifically, the par-4 16th, where he needed 12 strokes to complete the hole.

“I just played awful,” Daly told the Tampa Bay Times. “It really wasn’t that bad of a drive (on 16).

“I got two good drops and hit a heel-cut 3-wood into the water,” he said. “Then I shanked a 7-iron, chili-dipped a chip, it was buried, didn’t get that out. … It was a good 12. I got up-and-down for 12.”

A good 12. Yep, you got that right.

Daly says he’s suffering from the “yips,” as he needed 37 putts on his way to shooting 90. Apparently, his putting nerves started last Sunday on the back nine during the final round of the Puerto Rico Open.

“It’s no fun,” he said of his jitters on the greens. “I can’t stop it.”

Daly was once known to have some of the softest hands on the PGA Tour, like when he won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship, but those were the good old days. Over the past decade, he has generally only made headlines for withdrawing after posting a high score and/or injury, not to mention arrests and lawsuits.

“It’s my head, my hands, and I can’t stop it,” Daly told the AP. “On a short stroke, I get quick. On my normal, long stroke, I come up. Even my legs are moving. I should just go put myself in a straitjacket and try that. I’ve always been a quick putter, so I should never get the yips. But I got ’em. I got ’em bad.”

He didn’t seem too bothered by shooting 90 and saw the silver lining.

“I didn’t give up,” Daly said. “I tried.”

That’s definitely a positive, especially since he usually quits or pulls out citing an injury if he’s a gazillion over par. Progress! Bravo!

Daly was playing on a sponsor’s exemption — which has been the protocol for the last eight years. He gets a lot of them, too. Tampa was his fifth start of 2014. He’s made two cuts, with T32 at the Sony Open being his best finish.

What’s next for the sideshow ailing golfer?

He was supposed to play the season kickoff on the OneAsia circuit in Indonesia, but now he’s not sure because he was shaken up by the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

“I was going to Indonesia, but since they can’t find a 777,” he said, shaking his head as his voice trailed off. “I ain’t about to fly on a plane right now. It’s a sick feeling. I’d have to go right there. I canceled it. I said, ‘No way I’m getting on a plane to fly overseas.’ A 777? One of the nicest planes in existence?

“It’s scary,” he said. “There are more important things in life than a round of golf. I’m scared to fly. Our world, it’s scary what’s going on. [Buildings] blowing up in New York. A guy running over people in Austin, Texas? What the hell is going on? It’s frightening.”

Yes, I guess it could be a lot worse than shooting 90 on the PGA Tour.

(AP Photo)