SALT LAKE CITY — The PGA Championship at the Bethpage Black Course in Long Island, New York, is in full swing, and one of the more colorful additions to the competition is John Daly, a previous PGA champion.
Daly previously won the PGA Championship in 1991 — his first year in the PGA Tour — as a ninth alternate golfer for the event, according to his website. His '91 win allows Daly a lifetime exemption into the tournament, despite being ranked No. 1,836 in the world, according to the New York Post. As of writing, Daly is ranked T105 in the championship, according to the PGA.
So why did Daly join the PGA Championship? According to the Post, he doesn’t necessarily know but said he felt obligated to play due to his history.
“I just feel obligated. I don’t know why. I just do,” he said. “It got me started in my career. It’s very special to me and I just feel like I need to play, or try to anyway.’’
The golfer showed up to the championship on May 16 decked out in New York Yankees golfing pants, according to Yahoo Sports. Daly has also been seen cruising around in his golf cart with a McDonald's cup and a cigarette dangling from his lips.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Daly is also the second golfer to ever use a cart at a major championship. Daly said the vehicle is necessary due to osteoarthritis in his right knee. According to USA Today, Daly applied for the cart through the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was approved by the PGA.1 comment on this story
Tiger Woods commented on the matter, saying a partially-torn ACL in 2008 didn’t stop him from winning the U.S. Open. “As far as J.D. taking a cart, I walked with a broken leg, so…” he said. The NY Post also reports that Daly himself hasn’t been thrilled about the golf cart and called it a “big disadvantage” due to its limited access.
“If I could walk, I would do it. I could probably walk four holes and be done. The thing swells up so bad,” he said.
Daly also said he wasn’t angry with Woods over the comment, but wished he had learned more about Daly’s condition before commenting on the matter. He also praised Woods as “the best player I’ve ever played with or seen.”