At least for today, John Daly was a role model.
As Daly was walking up the 18th hole massaging his right wrist, his score of +28 may have had viewers thinking they were watching The International, the Stableford scoring PGA Tour event, instead of the British Open.
He didn’t explode like in the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, he didn’t rush his par putt on the 18th green that he would miss and he didn’t react negatively to the sarcastically cheering fans as he holed out.
The only consolation I can think of to offer Daly for his effort is that he didn’t finish alone in last – Jamie Howarth shot 85-84 to match Daly’s 80-89 – tying for 153rd.
But the two-time major champion behaved like one at a time when it was least expected.
With Greg Norman, Rocco Mediate and David Duval all in the top five at the halfway point there’s no reason to put an asterisk on the excitement surrounding the Claret Jug. The only people who have a problem with Tiger Woods not being at the tournament are Tiger himself and all the non-hardcore golf fans that didn’t follow the sport until his 1997 Masters triumph.
Norman used to be my favorite golfer until he started chicken-winging his elbows after a round at the Kemper Open and knocked me out of the way. To be frank, he’s a jerk.
But that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a great story if he, Duval, Mediate or even the far and really-far behind Sergio Garcia (73 today, +5, six shots back) and Phil Mickelson (68, +7, eight shots back) won.And they’re all chasing K.J. Choi who has seemed poised to win a major for awhile. Don’t stay out late tonight or tomorrow, you’ll want to get up early so that you don’t miss the weekend, even though Daly won’t be taking any more shots. Well, at least not on the course.