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G4G Mailbag: Daly Notes

My Sympatico column on John Daly’s exemption into the Canadian Open has generated a lot of emails — apparently people still feel very strongly about JD. I thought I’d share a couple of my favs.

Reader Shawn writes:

I felt an urge to write this after reading your article as, I find it amusing listening to men like you.  Men who seem to feel a need in upholding the comformist belief that has so severly desacrated our society.  Why should you even care if this man has had to withdraw because of something like a domestic dispuit, so what, he was on the recieving end!  And he drinks alot what does that matter in yours, mine, or the other guys world.  John spent his life working to be at a point where if he wants to go have some fun he can because he EARNED it and if he should want to come and play a game why should you say no sir you can’t play because other people will think it looks bad.  Cmon now, its not like the golf industry is going to go under because of the ten people that figured they shouldn’t do something they love because they think, a man having fun in his spare time and who has had the bad ‘luck’ of not once but twice having to withdraw with legitimate injuries, is less entertaining then say the guy who like the rest of the tour just hits the ball and goes on.  If anything this man should be praised for having the determination to continue on in the sport of golf and having the guts to think for himself and wear/do what makes him comfortable not the crowd. 

Not even sure what to say to that. Apparently Daly earned the right to piss away his talent. I’m supposed to support that?

Reader Rob Clarke writes:

What a dumb question.  Do you think Graham Delaet will draw anywhere near the numbers that Daly will.  Sure the guy has demons but maybe some sympathy is what he needs.  I went to the Skins game at Banff when Daly, Norman, Ames, Garcia played.  Norman was a jerk, he did not make any attempt at all to talk to the fans excedpt to yell at one poor guy trying to get an autograph, and I am talking at the morning pro-am not the Skins competition.
Daly on the other hand went out of his way to give as much time to the fans as he could before the marshals kept reminding him it was his turn to hit.
I lost a lot of respect for the toothless shark but Daly gained a lot.  As for his clothes – great, this sport needs some character and characters.

Characters indeed. But I’d also take some degree of focus. And don’t discount DeLaet — there’s plenty of interest in him this year.

Scott had this to say:

Hi Robert, I just read your article on John Daly and think you sort of missed the reason why John is so liked.

Although I am not one of them, the average person cannot relate to what the guys on the PGA can do with a golf ball. The thought of drawing a ball exactly 20 yards to get around a tree and dropping it lightly on the green, the normal person has no idea how to do this. But what normal golfers know what to do is have fun playing golf, I have actually teed off from a beer can (before Daly did it). Yes and I have been drunk playing and had a blast. I have also shot 72 from the blacks at The Palm course in Florida. All of these things normal golfers can relate to, we and most guys can relate with John. Yes we didnt blow millions of dollars, but put in his position being that young and that much success, he isnt the only one.Bad judgment and human beings go hand in hand, and Im sure youve never made mistakes. As the good book says, DONT THROW STONES.

I think he’s well liked because he’s a freak show and lots of people enjoy watching a disaster. But let me get this clear — “normal” golfers get the shakes when they are on course? Hard to figure. And you’re right — I’ve never made a mistake. Just ask anyone who knows me…

Lastly, one smart guy, Brent in Stony Plain, Alberta, who agrees:

Hi Robert…just a quick note to your piece on Daly. I was his biggest fan for years…i mean you couldn’t help but love the guy. Well, now i am just sick of him. I wish him well, however he seems to live his life like a complete loser. He does not respect the game. Fine…so lets all just wish him well and get him the hell out of our sight. Enough is enough I mean, after so many chances, even our own kids get the boot, and then they gotta either pull up their socks, or die. Why should there be any difference for Daly. He wants to be a loser…so let him go be a loser. It’s been nice watching him win, lose lose lose, win, lose lose lose, etc etc. Cheering ‘good ole’ John’ seemed the thing to do.
Today, I wouldn’t walk across the street to see him, I really mean that. He has completely lost the ‘magic’ drawing power he once may have had, and you wanna know why…from a fans point of view? It’s because he’s proven himself to be an asshole. We don’t need nor want heroes who treat people the way that he does, and lives the lifestyle that he does…oh yeah, and then blame it all on the booze. Poor guy.
I’m just plain sick of him. Simple as that!

Let’s be clear — Daly is a great talent. And if he gets it together, he deserves to be in Canada. But his lousy total today — 5-over — doesn’t convince me he’ll be about this weekend.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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