John Daly feels he has hit a new low with his worst score in a regular PGA Tour event that left him wondering whether he should quit.
Daly in a 'toxic state'
Playing for the sixth consecutive week on a journey that has taken him to five countries, John Daly felt as though he had hit a new low on Friday with his worst score in a regular PGA Tour event that left him wondering whether he should quit. His swing coach, Rick Smith, described Daly as being in a "toxic state" after an 88 in the Buick Open, which Smith attributed to a massive weight loss, not enough sleep and the wrong diet. Whatever the case, it led to Daly feeling as bad as he ever has about his golf.
"The last two weeks have been the first time in my career I didn't think I could win," Daly said. "I don't have the feel I used to have. I don't have the confidence. I just don't have it. It is a weird feeling." Daly hit two balls out of bounds on the par-five first hole - his 10th of the second round - and took a 10. He wound up shooting 51 on his back nine for a 16-over 88. That was one shot less than the 89 he had last year at Royal Birkdale in the windswept British Open. Smith said he almost didn't recognise him. "I saw a guy I didn't know existed," Smith said.
"What I saw today was scary. It was a literal disconnect. He hasn't eaten or slept in a week. His body needs food, and it's going to the muscle, and the muscle is breaking down to the point he's in a toxic state." Daly said he has lost more than five and half stones in the last four months after having Lap-Band surgery, in which a tube place around the top of the stomach helps control the appetite. He was eating 1,200 calories a day, but now says his intake is about 600 calories daily. Daly said he weighed himself this week at 14st 6lb.
"He's gone through it so quickly, faster than most," Smith said. "He hasn't felt well, he hasn't slept. He's starving himself. His doctors says if he doesn't have 80 to 90 grams a day of protein, he'll be in trouble. "He needs to eat the right food and get himself back so he can even play golf. "Looking at his swing today, it was irrelevant." The PGA Tour suspended Daly for six months in November for various off-course incidents. He has played mostly in Europe as he tries to qualify for the "Race to Dubai," but after a runner-up finish in May at the Italian Open, Daly has made little progress.
His trips took him from the BMW International in Germany to the French Open, to the Scottish Open and British Open, then to the Canadian Open and the Buick Open. The two-time major champion tied for 27th at the British Open and played the next two weeks on sponsor exemptions. Daly said he doesn't want to take a spot from someone else in the field if he continues like this. "I can't control my hands like I used to. I have no clue where it's going. I just don't have any feel, and it scares me. This is the most down I've ever been with my golf game. I'm doing everything I need to be doing, and nothing is going right on the golf course."