I think it’s safe to say that John Daly and The PGA Tour Champions need each other, but I think the tour may need him more. The tour needs someone to draw a crowd and maybe Daly can do it.
To begin with the tour needs an identity. Initially it was “The Senior Tour” and then just about the time I was getting used to referring to it as “The Champions Tour” the suits in Ponte Vedra decided to change the name again to “The Tour Champions.” I hope they didn’t pay a lot for that marketing study.
When the Seniors Tour first started it gave older tour players the opportunity to extend their careers and win more money than they ever won on the regular tour so all the big names came out. That is no longer the case. Some players were actually able to fund their retirement and have fun in the process.
Last year alone, Phil Mickelson took in $50.8 million total. That is a lot less motivation to continue playing the tour as a senior. The total purse for the Senior Tour was less than that.
At any rate it will be fun to see “Big John” with his unique swing and style getting a chance to get on top of the leader board.
He are some of his comments from a recent USA Today article:
“It’s been seven years since I had a good schedule,” Daly said Tuesday during a conference call. “My golf game hasn’t been that great, but I have been working really hard lately and I’m excited to really just get a schedule.
“ … It is more laid‑back (on the Champions Tour), that’s what everybody says, and I’m looking forward to it, and really most of the time, with them not having a cut, you can get really aggressive.”
“I would rather finish fifth or sixth and avoid being conservative for second place. I was always a guy that would try and win, and I would give up two or three extra spots to try to do that,” Daly said. “Pretty much my whole career I have been aggressive.”
“Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself out there,” Daly said. “I’ll be fresh, but I don’t know how great my golf game will be. I can sit here and hit all the balls and chip and putt all day long, but if you’re not playing competitive golf … there’s nothing better than competitive golf. You go week to week to week and you seem to get better as it goes.
“I’m coming in fresh. I don’t really have any expectations, just to go play and try and do the best I can.”
Because of his colorful personal life he probably needs the money.