The PGA Tour doesn’t announce disciplinary actions taken against players, but there’s no rule against a player announcing such punishment himself. So John Daly has announced that he’s serving a six month suspension for conduct detrimental to the Tour, including bad publicity following his night in a North Carolina jail.
In the meantime, Big John says he’ll spend his time playing on the European Tour. One can only hope that works out better than his embarrassing stint on the Australian Tour.
Of course, Daly hasn’t had full time status on the PGA Tour for two years, so he was existing on sponsors and past champions exemptions. In 2008, he earned just $56,017 in 17 events, missing the cut 10 times and withdrawing twice.
Daly decided to go public “to be fair to my fans and tournament organizers” during the first three months of the season when he typically plays on the West Coast and in Florida. His last victory was the Buick Invitational in 2004, and Daly said his five-year exemption as a past champion runs out this year.
He said he would continue playing the European Tour, starting with a three-week swing in the United Arab Emirates.
“This is the lowest I’ve ever been,” Daly said. “There’s always light with me. Right now, my home tour is probably Europe. And I love the European Tour. I always have. But my home is the United States. That’s where I would rather play.”
Daly isn’t even sure when the suspension began, but he hopes it ends in May. He said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem sent a letter to his agent, Bud Martin of SFX Sports, who passed along the news.
“Tim and his staff have to do what they do,” Daly said. “Truly and honestly, I wish Tim would get to know the facts better before he makes a decision. I would love to sit down and have a nice talk with him, tell him what really happened. But perception is reality in the world, and sometimes they have to do what they have to do.”
Daly’s been in rare form this past year. After partying at the Hooters Tent during a rain delay on the Florida Swing, he temporarily hired Bucs Coach John Gruden as his caddy. Later, he was filmed doing a half-naked advertisement for a Missouri Golf Course. At the Buick Open, he entertained fans during the pro-am by hitting a ball off a beer can. Then there was the now-infamous stop at a jail in North Carolina. Add to that a public breakup with swing coach Butch Harmon, who basically accused Daly of not being serious, the destruction of a camera in Australia, and you’ve got all the signs of a man who just doesn’t stop to THINK. I hate to say it, but it’s like he’s four years old.
In my entirely non-professional opinion, the man needs help.