The PGA’s favorite drunken uncle, John Daly, wants to nominate himself for U.S. Ryder Cup Captain. Here’s why that’s a great idea.
Two things are wrong with the US Ryder Cup Team:
- They aren’t very successful
- They aren’t much fun to watch
John Daly can probably fix that (ok, at least 1 of 2). Outside of Tiger Woods’ breakthrough 1996, golf has seemingly always struggled with attracting new fans to the PGA. Jordan Spieth and Rory McElroy are young and exciting golfers developing a substantial following, but neither are bringing in new fans to the sport.
The Gentlemen’s Game known as golf, has pomp, circumstance, and even excitement, yet it’s almost indigestible to the typical 18-35 year-old sports crowd demographic. Golf doesn’t have to solely cater to the elite niche of sports fandom, and they don’t have to completely cheapen the game either.
The PGA can make it more fun, more digestable, and still maintain the integrity of the game (mostly). With a a player like John Daly, golf has a way of lightening the atmosphere, ever-so-slightly, for one of golf’s biggest events – The Ryder Cup.
In a recent interview at Murcar Links, John Daly threw his hat into the ring of potential Ryder Cup captains.
"“Hopefully I would one day be a captain,” said Daly. “It would be fun. I think we just get wrapped up in it. I think when you’re favored to win so many years like the Americans have been, I think we get uptight. Even the matches that we are getting killed in, we are favored in.”"
Daly brings up a good point. The Ryder Cup, which pits the US against Europe biennially, hasn’t been kind to the Americans. After completely dominating play for nearly 60 years, the US has fallen on hard times. Despite featuring some of golf’s top players, and often being favored by those in the know, the US Ryder Cup team has only managed wins twice since 1993.
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Obviously, American interest in the event has suffered alongside the lack of team success. All too often, the play is disappointing and the excitement lacking. An event that should be more marketable to new fans than a regular PGA event, was actually less marketable.
John Daly could probably change that.
Daly, a one-time winner of both the US Open and the Masters, is the only golfer (US or UK) to win 2 or more majors, and not participate in the Ryder Cup. Still, without ever having played it, Daly thinks he’s the right man for the job.
"“I don’t know if I fit the mold,” Daly said. “I don’t know if I fit what the PGA of America would want.” All I know is my team. If I was captain, we’d have a blast. I’d make sure they had a blast. You don’t want to wear a tie? Don’t wear a tie. Have fun. It’s supposed to be fun.”"
John Daly is probably right in his self-assessment. It’s safe to say the former Rookie of the Year (1991) and Comeback Player of the Year (2004), is nothing close to what the PGA of America is looking for. And that’s why he’s the perfect fit.
John Daly could effectively lighten the mood, and make the event more marketable to outside fans. In much the same way US Hockey and US Mens Soccer helped their respective sports breakthrough, the Ryder Cup could break the PGA through, with Daly at the helm.
John Daly isn’t without warts. Unlike his well-documented clubhouse drinking, his golf game has long suffered over the years. The man famous for beer cans and cigarettes would truly be out-of-the-box thinking for a captain search.
"“When I see it on TV, it just looks like our guys are not having a good time”, Daly said. “I’m one of those guys you don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. I’m either going to piss you off or make you happy. But that’s me. I can’t deny it and that’s just the way I’ve always been.”"
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