John Daly: I Can Win Again on the PGA Tour, I Just Need to Get In More Tournaments

The trials and tribulations of John Daly during his golfing career are well-known. They couldn’t particularly fit in this space here if I wanted to list them all. As it is, Daly hasn’t won a golf tournament since 2004, but believes that he could still do it today. In his mind, he simply needs to be able to play more tournaments consistently, something that’s a problem because he needs to get into most tournaments on an exemption. Daly showed that he can still compete on the tour this past weekend. He put together a solid three-day stretch and actually felt like he hit the ball his best during a final-round 74 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. He shot 3-under for the tournament and tied for 41st. John Daly joined WHBQ in Memphis with Greg and Eli to discuss this past weekend’s tournament, where his game stands right now, why he feels like he can still win, his status on the PGA Tour, being notable for his driving and putting and if the tribulations of his past are behind him now.

Your coming off a pretty good week. You must be feeling good:

“Yeah, I actually hit it better on Sunday, I just didn’t get anything out of it. I hit some pretty decent golf shots that just turned out a couple bad breaks here and there.”

Isn’t it crazy when you can hit it better, but score worse?:

“There’s a couple up-and-downs that I should’ve gotten, easy up-and-downs that I made bogeys on. That happens, but I feel like I’m hitting the ball good. I just wish I was playing five, six, seven weeks in a row like I used to.”

Where would you put your game right now?:

“Mentally it’s better than it’s ever been. I wish I had this mental attitude back in the 90s. I think things would’ve been different. But like they say, we always grow up too late.”

Do you feel like you can win again on tour?:

“I do. I just need to get in more tournaments, stay healthy and just play. Luckily after Memphis I have a week off and then I go to Germany for the BMW, the Irish Open and then I play like seven in a row, counting the British. It’ll be like nine in a row for me. Last year, Canada, it was about my fifth or six in a row of that stretch I had last year and I finished eighth and ninth. So if I could just get in a stretch.”

What’s your status right now on the PGA Tour?:

“Well, I’m kind of looking for exemptions and there’s a few tournaments I could’ve gotten in early in the year, but I was hurt — my elbow. It doesn’t matter what tournament it is anymore, as long as I can get in some tournaments on the PGA Tour and I’m pretty much going to get plenty of tournaments in Europe. So I have a lot of golf to play, but it always seems to be around July, August, September, October.”

Do you enjoy being notable for your long-distance drives or long-distance putts?:

“It doesn’t matter to me. I just want to be known for better than worse. I’ve had some ups and downs out here. I’ve made some people smile and made some people very upset. I can only change the bad things and hopefully not continue to do any of those. I hope I’m remembered as a guy who has a big heart that, mentally, I probably wasn’t ready for the Tour.”

Do you feel like all that stuff is officially in the past and you’ve moved past it?:

“You know, it’s always going to be in my past, but it won’t be in a lot of people’s past. A lot of things that have happened in my life, a lot of it’s perception of course, and a lot of it’s reality. But the perception is what people thrive on. And I’ve been marked on that. That’s just part of life I have to live with. I just want to keep playing. I’m still competitive as hell; I still work hard on my game. I just want to play and be competitive.”

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