Printer Friendly

SHOW SOME BALLS BUTCH; RECORD SPORT AT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP... Big John stokes up war of words with coach.

Byline: BY NEIL CAMERON

JOHN DALY last night accused former coach Butch Harmon of destroying his life with lies that he was hooked on booze again.

And the Wild Thing insisted the golf guru did not have enough balls in the bag to apologise to him in public.

But Harmon hit back, swearing Daly was haunted by demons and refused to take responsibility for his actions.

The 1995 Open champion swore he defied doctor's orders to be at Birkdale because he loves British fans and is determined to salvage a year which has been dogged by injury and controversy.

He said: "Most of this stuff about my lifestyle started with Butch Harmon - his lies destroyed my life."

The pair fell out in March at the PODS Championship in Florida after Daly sheltered from the rain in a hospitality tent operated by glamour girl bar chain Hooters and Harmon said: "The most important thing in his life is getting drunk."

The weather delay lasted two hours and when Daly emerged from the tent he had swapped his regular caddie Peter Van Der Reit for Tampa Bay Buchaneers coach Jon Gruden.

He added a disastrous 80 to his first-round 78, missed the cut by 13 strokes and headed back to Hooters.

But yesterday Daly insisted it was all innocent and that Harmon had admitted to him in person he was wrong to publicly criticise although that apology, he claims, has remained private.

Daly said: "Butch should become a man and talk about some of the stuff he lied about - I was doing charity work that week when I missed the cut.

"It made the press write some pretty bad things when no one had the facts and that hurts me.

"The Hooters people know there was nothing bad about it.

Rumours started flying about because of my past.

"My lifestyle has been great recently. I'm eating too much, but I'm hardly drinking at all. I guess that's the way my life is going to be for a while because of my past.

"On that Thursday there was a rain delay. We were told it wasn't going to last long and we were beside the Hooters tent. I was drinking Diet Pepsi.

"Peter complained about a neck problem and said he couldn't go back out so I asked coach Gruden if he wanted to caddie for the last four holes.

That's all there was to it.

"Then stories came out that I was drunk and it's a joke. I would never do that knowing that I had to go out.

"I missed the cut and the tournament director asked if I could help raise money for a charity. I had a couple of beers, signed 1000 autographs. It was agreat day - no big deal.

"Butch told the Golf Channel that I was drunk and it was ridiculous that coach Gruden caddied for me.

"He made stuff up and didn't know the facts and put it out all over the world without talking to me. Real men don't do that.

"I talked to him on the phone at the Byron Nelson and he said he'd retract what he said but never did. I don't know what his problem is - but he needs to stay away from me as much as he possibly can."

That will not be easy this week. The pair were spotted at the same time on the Birkdale driving range but there appears to be no way back.

Harmon denied ever saying sorry and said: "I feel bad for John. I like him but he has a lot of personal problems. He has a lot of demons in his body.

"This is just a case of John never looking in the mirror. He has to take responsibility for his actions. He looks to blame everyone else."

Daly is loved in Britain for the exact reasons why some of the more aloof members of the golfing fraternity don't like him.

It would be good to report that he looks great but injury and lifestyle, even if it is in the past, have taken their toll. He lost his PGA Tour card after a 2007 season in which he had six withdrawals, 10 missed cuts and finished 188th on the money list.

In several tournaments he clearly gave up but he said: "I've worked more on my golf over the past four days than I have in the previous 18 months.

"It felt good to be practising for seven hours, putting and chipping. I don't expect too much here. It's just nice to be back at The Open and I'll try to salvage the year.

"I had to withdraw from the John Deere because I had a cyst on my hand caused by calcium build-up.

They cut that then I found out there was tendonitis in my elbow so it's been one thing after another.

"My doctor says I shouldn't be here but I wanted to come over and play The Open because I love it.

"Everyone wakes up every day not knowing what to expect from me. That's why they like me here. The fans are great. Europe has always been good to me.

"I never doubted those who said that once you get to a certain age you will feel things. I just didn't expect them all to come at once. Everything seems to have gone south."

CAPTION(S):

WHAT A HOOT: Daly sheltered among the glamour girls but denied he was boozing; PLAY BALL BUTCH: Daly insists Harmon, below, should say sorry but the coach says the Wild Thing cares only about drink
COPYRIGHT 2008 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 17, 2008
Words:933
Previous Article:Trevor is going for the Jug-ular; RECORD SPORT AT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP...
Next Article:CHIP SHOT; RECORD SPORT AT THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters