Hate to be Rude: Daly done in ’09

Lemont, Ill. – John Daly, citing a recurring rib injury, said Tuesday he’s done playing for the year.

Daly underwent a second injection to ligaments around the rib cage last week and wants to let the rib heal completely, said his manager, Bud Martin. As a result, he’s pulling out of the five tournaments he was scheduled to play the rest of the season: Next week in Austria, the Turning Stone Resort Championship, Viking Classic, Australian Open and Australian PGA.

“He doesn’t feel he’s given the injury a chance to completely mend,” Martin said of the injury Daly suffered at the 2007 Honda Classic when he was disturbed by a spectator taking a photograph. “So he told me this morning he’s not playing the rest of the year.”

So his season ends the same way it started: With several months of inactivity. He was on PGA Tour suspension for most of the first half for conduct unbecoming, including a drunken night in jail late last year.

No word on whether JD will wear those loud pants out in public, like at dinner and a movie. Or what size he’ll wear upon returning.

• OK, enough is enough. The Deutsche Bank Championship, like starting next year, needs to end on Sunday instead of Monday. I could line up dozens of players who agree.

The reasons are many. Sunday finishes are normal for everybody. Players would come to the BMW Championship on Week 3 of the FedEx playoffs with a better chance of being rested instead of fatigued. More than a quarter of the 70-man BMW Championship field can’t play a practice round Wednesday because of the pro-am and thus gets little preparation on the short week. Many players in the Wednesday pro-am skip Tuesday practice sessions in favor of rest – hence it was a bit of a ghost town Tuesday at Cog Hill.

Deutsche Bank television ratings probably would be better on the weekend rather than Sunday-Monday. And the BMW would bring in more for charity if it had a Monday pro-am.

One day makes a big difference on a lot of levels.

Heath Slocum, winner of the FedEx playoff opener (Barclays) two weeks ago, called missing the cut at the Deutsche Bank a “blessing in disguise” because he needed to catch up with rest. He had played the two weeks before The Barclays.

“After the (Deutsche Bank) first round, I was beat,” Slocum said. “The last two days (off) really have been a blessing. I’ve been trying to conserve energy for the rest of the week. Last Friday I hit the wall hard. I was asleep at 8:30 p.m. that night.”

“You have to pace yourself,” Hunter Mahan said. “This week you hit a few balls to warm up, hit a couple of good shots. You have to make sure you get a lot done in a short amount of time.”

• U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples’ picks of Lucas Glover and Hunter Mahan were right on, though someday long-hitting Dustin Johnson figures to be a stud and perhaps an intimidator in international match play.

International captain Greg Norman, however, batted only .500. Ryo Ishikawa – given three victories in the past 10 weeks on the Japan Tour, including Sunday – was an outstanding choice even though he’s 17.

Adam Scott, though, was a risky pick even though he’s loaded with talent. Since January, Scott has missed the cut in 10 of 16 PGA Tour starts and hasn’t finished better than 33rd. He has a month to regain form.

The hunch here is Scott, like Norman an Australian, wouldn’t have been selected if he were South African, Korean, Fijian, etc.

“This team competition could help rejuvenate him,” Mahan said. “I played with him in Akron (in August) and he struggled but hit some great golf shots. Maybe a break will help him.”

Thing is, one major key to assembling such teams is trying to limit the factors of could and maybe.

• Besides adding bang the final week, the best change to the FedEx Cup points system is this: Last year players moved up by making a cut. This year they moved up by playing well.

Rees Jones did a good job in refurbishing Cog Hill No. 4 for this week’s BMW Championship. You can take this to the bank: No one will come close to shooting 22-under-par 262, as Tiger Woods did in winning two years ago.

The course is longer (7,616 yards), the bunkers deeper, the new greens higher, firmer and more undulating. Noticeable changes were made to every hole, particularly vast improvements to Nos. 7, 8, 13 and 17. So far player reaction has been positive.

“A real good test,” said Chicago Mark Wilson, No. 41 in FedEx points. “I like the changes overall, but some greens are too severe and undulating. They wanted to err on the side of more difficult.”

Added Slocum: “If it firms up, it’s going to be a beast.”

• If you’re looking for a book that dispenses great messages about wisdom and significance, try the terrific Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia by Dr. David Cook. It’s more about life than golf. It drives home the tenet that seeing, feeling and trusting apply to both life and golf.

• These FedEx Cup playoffs apparently are catching on more and more. At least when it comes to qualifications. The past two years, BMW Championship tournament director John Kaczkowski received some letters from golfers, mostly guys new on Tour, seeking a sponsor exemption – even though the BMW is limited to the top 70 in FedEx Cup points.

This year, no letters.

But Kaczkowski did field several questions from Chicago-area amateurs asking when qualifying was, that they’d like to try. To some, apparently, this will always be the old Western Open.

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