Daly needs reality pill for 2010

The PGA Tour season is exactly one day old, and already I’m reaching for my blood-pressure medication. What has me so riled? John Daly, that’s who. He says his “feelings were hurt” when the Bob Hope Classic chose not to give him a sponsor exemption.

“That was kind of a shocker they didn’t give me one,” Daly told The Associated Press Monday evening. “I felt like I brought a lot of celebrity friends to that tournament. That was kind of a slap in the face. I supported that tournament for all those years. My feelings were hurt there.”

Well, pass the Kleenex and cry me a river, JD.

Is there anyone on earth in greater need of two giant reality pills than Long John? Here’s a guy who has been riding a free ticket for a long, long time. Too long. And already this year, with nothing but Past Champions status, he has been extended sponsor invites to the Sony Open (first full-field event of the season, and a tough ticket) and San Diego Open.

(He’ll play at Pebble Beach, too, only because the field is about 812 players; if I whittle my handicap below 6.4 I could probably get into that one.)

The Hope exemptions went to youngsters Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler, each of whom is a promising young player who made a playoff in the Fall Finish; Rocco Mediate, who nearly took down Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open; David Duval, who once won the Hope with a closing 59; and Sam Saunders, a young kid who has pretty good bloodlines. His grandfather is Arnold Palmer, who has a long affiliation with the Hope (longer than JD’s, apparently).

Daly played the Hope last year and withdrew after three rounds. He hasn’t had a top-20 finish at the event since 1997. His biggest Hope claim to fame? He once met a future ex-wife there.

He has no grounds to whine about who is and isn’t willing to extend him free invitations to play this season. Why? I’ll tell you: Earlier this winter, when other veterans such as Jeff Maggert, Neal Lancaster, J.P. Hayes, Jay Williamson, Omar Uresti, Joe Ogilvie, Chris Riley and a host of others schlepped off to Q-School, Long John was nowhere to be found. Instead, he was in Australia this December, picking up a few appearance fees.

That alone should ensure he has absolutely no grounds – zero – to complain. Sorry, JD. Don’t want to hear anymore about what golf and various golf tournaments “owe” you. In this game, you have to earn it.

Suggested new motto for ‘10: Grip It and Zip It. And just play better.

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