The Daly Watch
This is just what the PGA Tour needs: John Daly posing with a $100,000 cardboard check in an advertisement for a Mississippi River casino. But there was Daly in the Memphis Commercial Appeal of Sunday, June 25, featured as one of the jackpot winners at the Horseshoe Casino in Tunica, Miss. Daly won big on May 27 playing the $100 slot machines, the day after shooting 71-77 to miss the cut at the Colonial Invitation.
Sure, Daly is free to gamble legally off the golf course, but his appearance in this ad is not particularly good for the image of the Tour or in the best interests of Daly, who skipped the FedEx St. Jude Classic in his hometown of Memphis last week because of severe headaches that he says are part of the residual effects he has suffered since giving up alcohol. "In going through sobriety, [recovering alcoholics] have told me they've had headaches for a two- or three-year period," Daly said. "They've also said it could be stress-related or nutrition-related."
Some Tour observers worry that gambling may have taken the place of drinking for Daly. In an interview in the June 30 Commercial Appeal, Daly denied the persistent rumors that he has a gambling problem. "It's not what people are saying," Daly said. "Yeah, I gamble. I gamble for fun and pleasure. I do it because I can, and it's relaxing. It's the most relaxing thing I do besides playing guitar."
That may be all well and good, but even while insisting that his gambling is not out of control, Daly did concede that he spends an awful lot of time doing it. "I love it so much that I spend 12 to 24 hours at a time," he said. "I'm not going to quit gambling."
Father-son combinations aren't rare in professional golf, but it is unusual to see a father-in-law and his son-in-law in the same field of a PGA Tour event. Last week's FedEx St. Jude Classic brought together Glen Day and his wife's father, Bob Ralston. Day shot 62 to share the lead after the opening round. Ralston, who played on the Tour in the early '80s before taking a club job in Hot Springs, Ark., shot even-par 72. Both slipped on Friday—Day to 74, and Ralston to 76 and a missed cut.
It was in part due to Day's encouragement that the 45-year-old Ralston started playing on the Nike and Hooters tours this year in hopes of qualifying for the Senior tour when he becomes eligible in 1999. "I try to convince him, he hits it as good or better than I do," says Day. "I've seen him shoot rounds of golf that I never have shot in my life."
The first time the two competed against each other in a tournament, at the 1989 Arkansas Open, turned out to be a momentous occasion for Day. He won the tournament and not long after the heart of Jennifer Ralston, Bob's daughter. "I think their eyes met at the golf tournament," says Bob, "but my wife had told Jennifer she didn't want her dating that guy because he was a flirt."
"What can I say? I didn't mind my mom," says Jennifer. "But Glen's calmed down a whole lot. Otherwise I wouldn't have married him."