John Daly’s Champions Tour Debut Will Not Go Unnoticed!!
By Emily Kay
The reception for John Daly’s Champions Tour debut next month is bound to be as loud as the gaudy pants he so famously sports on golf courses from Turkey to St. Andrews, Hawaii to The Old White.
Buckle up, Houston, because Daly and his garishly clad entourage will descend on The Woodlands Country Club for the May 6-8 Insperity Invitational. Fittingly, Daly’s long-time backer, Loudmouth Golf, has signed on as a sponsor of the event — a first for the apparel firm.
Taking a page from the 2014 Irish Open’s "Wacky Trouser Day," when organizers rewarded spectators with cash for wearing their most outlandish garb to the competition, Daly’s clothier will promote its entry into tournament sponsorship with "Loudmouth Day" on May 6.
Spectators, staff, and volunteers are all urged to arrive draped in their most ostentatious Loudmouth outfits. The first 1,000 tourney-goers through the main gate that day will receive a Long John bobblehead all dolled up in a new spring pattern.
Despite the fact that he has not won a PGA Tour event since the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines in 2004, Daly remains a popular figure everywhere he tees it up, largely because of his swashbuckling, take-no-prisoners approach to the game.
Throngs of fans surround him even when he’s off the course, as he was last week when he took up his familiar Masters-week spot in the Hooters restaurant parking lot about a mile outside the gates of Augusta National.
Daly believes his style is a good fit for many of the Champions Tour’s 54-hole, no-cut events.
"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 during a teleconference last month. "Pretty much my whole career I have been aggressive."
The largesses of sponsors have enabled Daly, who has missed the cut in nine of his last 11 PGA Tour starts, to continue playing on the U.S. circuit. Turning 50 on April 28 will afford the winner of the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open more regular bookings with the over-50 gang.
"It's been seven years since I've had a good schedule," he said. "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."
The Champions Tour — formerly the "Senior Tour" in case you have not kept tabs on the Duffy Waldorfs and Woody Austins of the golf world — may not know what hit it when Daly takes the tee. But we’re guessing officials will welcome the attention that Daly’s larger-than-life persona and outré couture will undoubtedly bring to their tournaments.