Just in Case You Were Wondering About John Daly
The Masters is officially underway -- and Phil Mickelson is another three put away from ruining any chances he had at repeating as champion -- but there are some noticeable omissions from this year's field.
John Daly, who lost his PGA Tour card last year (really? how did I miss that?) and has been playing on sponsor's exemptions in 2007 isn't in the field this week. But that doesn't mean he's not in town. In fact, he's right down Washington road ... at the neighborhood Hooters. Come on, admit it, you're not even shocked to read that (I know I'm not). Apparently, he's signing autographs ... for what, though, I'm not quite certain.
Also missing this week is former British Open champion David Duval, who showed up at the season-opening Mercedes Championship in 2000 in the best shape of his life, fell off the wagon a few years later and his game has never been the same. I'm not suggesting packing on the pounds was responsible for the precipitous fall in the world rankings -- after all, he shot a 59 in the late '90s while looking a little Mickelson's chubby younger brother. But he admits his new family has given him a different life perspective, one that doesn't feature his golf career. Good for Duval, though I miss watching him play. Seven years ago, he was probably the golfer best equipped to challenge Tiger.
Also absent: 1996 British Open winner and last year's Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman didn't finish high enough on the money list to qualify, and three-time green-jacket winner Nick Faldo chose to work the tournament for CBS instead of teeing it up (past champions have a lifetime exemption to play in the Masters): "I've had my era. It was a tough decision... Five or six years ago is when I first realized it was time for a change, and it took me a couple years to realize that."