PEBBLE BEACH (KPIX)--Tiger Woods on another sabbatical? No problem. Phil Mickelson taking a pass on Pebble? So long, Lefty! An even bigger story has emerged on the Monterey Peninsula.
The resurgence of John Daly.
Daly came out of nowhere to post a 5-under par 65 at Pebble Beach, one behind leader JB Holmes. The 65 is Daly's best by three strokes in 35 rounds at the AT&T Pro Am. In fact, Daly hasn't made the cut at Pebble since George H. W. Bush was in the White House.
Granted, one round does not make a tournament. But don't rain on Daly's parade, or the PGA tour's. They needed a story and they just got one.
Daly is everyman. He had it and lost it. He's been married four times. He's been rich and he's been broke. He's been sober and he's been drunk. He once kicked his caddy off the course and replaced with Jon Gruden. He was at the top of the golf world and is now at the bottom. The two-time major champion is ranked 839th in the world. He's made more mug shots than golf shots. He hasn't won a tournament since the 2004 Farmers Insurance Open. He's fallen so far that not even Farmer's will insure him anymore.
Upon resigning his Presidency, Richard Nixon said "only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Daly and Nixon both had good poker faces, but neither could play poker. Daley won the British Open and the PGA Championship. But his demons destroyed his marriages, his bank account and his golf game.
But when he tees off tomorrow, I'm guessing his shiny blond hair will be covered by a new sponsor's cap. Because it's he they're coming to see. America's latest comeback story is right here, right now. Jack Lemmon never made the cut, will Daly make his first since 1991?
If Daly wins the AT&T it will be among the most improbable comeback stories in golf history. Somewhere,
Tiger is watching.
See you on TV.
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