Associated Press
Monday, June 19

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- John Daly blew up again at the U.S. Open.

Daly shot a 14 on the par-5 18th hole Thursday at Pebble Beach, hitting one shot into a backyard and dumping three more in the Pacific Ocean. He stormed off the course with a 12-over 83 and withdrew from the tournament.

Players not surprised
John Daly's fellow players took news of his latest meltdown in stride.

"Surprise," Jack Nicklaus said sarcastically. "No one knows what is going on through his mind. I like John. He's a fun guy to be around. But, obviously, he's his own worst enemy. He's not going to get better until he gets those demons out of his head."

Stuart Appleby wasn't very sympathetic, either.

"I think he forgot that you're trying to get the least amount of shots on a hole, not the most," Appleby said. "I don't understand what he has to keep doing that to himself. He's not doing it to anyone else. He needs to be a bit kinder to himself."

This wasn't the worst hole for Daly in tournament golf. In March 1988, he hit a 3-wood into the water six times in the final round of Bay Hill Invitational, taking an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole.

After the latest blowup, Greg Norman called Daly "too good a player to do that to himself."

"He still had a very good chance to win the tournament," Norman said. "It's unfortunate. But he's in his own skin. He makes his own decisions and he has to go with that."
"It's amazing how quickly it went," said Daly's caddie, former NHL player Dan Quinn.

The meltdown occurred a year after he led the Open through most of the first round at Pinehurst, N.C., only to shoot a septuple-bogey 11 on the eighth hole in the final round. He actually hit a putt while it was still rolling, drawing a two-shot penalty, and finished with an 83 and a 29-over 309 to rank last among players making the cut.

Afterward, he blasted the United States Golf Association and vowed never to play in another Open.

"The USGA loves to embarrass guys who play in their tournaments," Daly said. "I don't consider the U.S. Open a major anymore."

Daly, a two-time major winner whose career has been plagued by alcoholism and gambling problems, apologized a few days later and returned to the Open this year at Pebble Beach.

"I was real excited," said Quinn, who filled in after Daly's regular caddie hurt an ankle. "It was fun through 16 or 17 holes. He was playing good. He just got all beat up at the end. One little swing and it was like, 'Oh, my God.' "

Coming off a bogey at 17, Daly went to the final hole a respectable 3-over for the round. But his tee shot scooted under a fence and into the backyard of a home that borders the right side of the fairway on the picturesque 18th.

After seeing his ball was out of bounds, Daly trudged back to the tee and hit two more shots -- both hooking into the crashing waves of Carmel Bay. He then pulled a 5-iron out of the bag and laid up safely with his seventh shot of the hole.

Another lay-up left him only 115 yards from the green, but Daly plopped his ninth shot into the water again. Forced to drop in the bunker, the ball wound up against the seawall and he took a left-handed swing at his next shot, No. 10 for those counting. The ball remained in the bunker while the crowd groaned.

Daly blasted out of the sand, two-putted for the 14, quickly signed his scorecard and headed for the locker room without commenting. By the time reporters reached the building, he already had collected his belongings and left.

"It is always unfortunate when a contestant withdraws prior to completion of his regulation rounds," said Marty Parkes, spokesman for the USGA. "We are very sorry that John's struggles at the end of his round today caused him to withdraw."

Daly, who won the PGA Championship in 1991 and the British Open four years later, withdrew from the 1997 Open after 27 holes because he had the shakes from trying to give up alcohol.

Last September, three months after his troubles at Pinehurst, he was dropped by his top sponsor, Callaway Golf. The company said he had resumed drinking and gambling, and tore up his contract when he refused help.

Now, another disastrous entry on Long John's scorecard.

"I feel bad for the kid," said Quinn, who was trying to line up a late-night flight home to Pittsburgh. "He's a great guy. He's so talented." Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
Copyright ©1999 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site.

Woods leaves rest of U.S. Open field in a fog

ESPN's Andy North touches on the weather conditions and John Daly's performance.
Real: 28.8

News   Money   Entertainment   Kids   Family