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Long Gone
JIM GORANT
February 13, 2006
John Daly blows off Phoenix, again
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February 13, 2006

Long Gone

John Daly blows off Phoenix, again

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PEBBLE WINNER HOPE
Three courses, including Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill. [ Courses ]
Pebble. PB and Spyglass are the real classics.
Four courses, including the brand new Classic Club.
Most pros play three rounds with amateur partners. [ Format ]
Pebble. Know why the pros love the Memorial? It doesn't have a pro-am.
Pros play four rounds with amateur partners.
Bing Crosby, the Clambake founder and immortal crooner. [ Patron Saint ]
Tie. A toss-up on The Road to Morocco.
Bob Hope, Bing's buddy in the movies and immortal comic.
Tiger used to play here. [ Strength of Field ]
Pebble. Even the memory of Tiger is better than no Tiger ever.
Tiger has never played here (and probably never will).
Bill Murray, the greatest show in golf. [ Star Attraction ]
Pebble. Was Timberlake in Caddyshack?
Teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake.
17-Mile Drive along the Pacific Ocean. [ Scenic Drive ]
Pebble. Nothing beats an ocean view.
Frank Sinatra Drive through Palm Desert.
Clint Eastwood, chairman of the foundation that runs the tournament. [ Unofficial Host ]
Pebble. Who's going to tell Clint he didn't win this category?
Tom Dreesen, Sinatra pal who emcees tournament functions.
It's been snowed on, canceled and had the final round moved to August. [ Weather ]
Hope. Pebble has more exciting weather, but....
Ho-hum. It's sunny and 78 in Palm Desert, as usual.
Gary McCord yuks it up on a couch near the 16th hole for CBS. [ Forced Celebrity Schmoozer ]
Pebble. Faldo hadn't looked this uncomfortable since he had to hug Greg Norman.
Nick Faldo set up a buffet table and a blender for ABC.

These are tough times for John Daly, with his wife being hauled off to prison and all, but that doesn't justify his acting like a punk on the golf course. At the FBR Open, Daly called in sick for Wednesday's pro-am, shot a 74 on Thursday and then a 40 on his first nine on Friday, at which point he walked directly to his car and left without telling a soul. Last year Daly spent the Tuesday before the FBR rocking out at a pre--Super Bowl event before jetting to town at the 11th hour, only to shoot 81 in the opening round, then WD. Daly should simply leave Scottsdale off his 2007 schedule. The dozens of players who failed to make it into the tournament would've coveted the opportunity.... Perhaps inspired by the Tour's most notoriously sinful crowd, a record number of pros showed up for the players' informal Bible-study session on Wednesday night. The weekly meeting usually draws about 12 to 15 people, but Aaron Baddeley, who hosted at his home in Scottsdale, estimated the crowd at "easily 50-plus." ... Tiger Woods (below) enjoyed the win and the reported $3 million appearance fee he got for playing in Dubai, but there was a downside. "Unfortunately I'm going to miss the Super Bowl," he said after beating Ernie Els in sudden death, "so I'll probably be making some calls on the plane to see who's winning."

Numbers

The stats from the deserts ( Dubai and Scottsdale) provide a catchy handle for the possible future of pro golf: Tiger Woods and the Big Boppers. In Dubai, Woods earned his 66th pro victory while improving his playoff record on the PGA and European tours to 13-2, including a perfect 3-0 against Els. At the FBR Open, J.B. Holmes averaged 320.5 yards off the tee (counting all his drives), with 23 of his 56 shots traveling more than 330 yards. Only 31 of those drives found the fairway, but the long ball trumps the short grass.

ALSO ...

? Seve Ballesteros says he will quit competitive golf--in 2011. ?The gold medal Orville Moody got for winning the 1969 U.S. Open was to be auctioned at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on Feb. 7.

? For more coverage of the Dubai Desert Classic, go to SI.com/golf.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

Pebble vs. the Hope

This week the PGA Tour stops at California's Monterey Peninsula for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, which along with the recent Bob Hope Chrysler Classic is one of only two Hollywood hackfests remaining on the pro circuit. So, which tournament is better? Here's a side-by-side comparison of the star-studded events.

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