Tiger Woods has come in for criticism. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods has come in for criticism. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Tiger slams ridiculous major sideshow

John Daly has been slammed for creating a ridiculous sideshow at the second major of 2019.

Daly will rip it up in the PGA Championship - while gripping the wheel of a golf cart.

Yep, the guardians of the game are accommodating a 53-year-old who spent a good part of his life not taking good care of himself and has zero chance of winning.

Tiger Woods made it be known how he feels about Daly taking a cart for this week's event at Bethpage Black, after the PGA of America granted Daly a waiver under the Americans with Disabilities Act because of a bum knee.

"As far as JD taking a cart," Woods said Tuesday, "well, I walked with a broken leg. So …"

Of course, Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with a stress fracture in his left tibia and a partially torn ACL in his knee. That was the most recent of his major championships until he added No. 15 by winning the Masters in April.

Six-time major champion Nick Faldo is also critical of the move. "I think walking is an integral part of being a pro golfer," Faldo said during a conference call to promote CBS's coverage of the event. "I'll leave it at that."

The two champions are right.

If an arthritic knee won't allow Daly to walk such a demanding course - then he shouldn't play.

Making matters worse, this dubious decision denies a deserving player the chance to take part.



Daly's life has largely been a well-publicised train wreck, other than that one week in 1995 when he somehow harnessed his enormous talent to win a second major championship at the British Open.

Now, he's just a soft drink-swilling, cigarette-smoking caricature of wasted potential. He has no business scooting around at the PGA Championship, portraying himself as a worthy player.

"I hope I don't get a lot of grief from the fans," Daly told The Associated Press. "My knee is screwed. I had the meniscus cut out. I have osteoarthritis so bad … I can walk up a hill, I just can't walk down one."

The PGA of America said Daly applied to use a cart through its American with Disabilities Act policy and provided "the requisite information to allow for a review of his request by the PGA's medical team."

That request was approved, which means Daly will be the first player to ride in a cart at a major championship since Casey Martin in the US Open at Olympic Club in 1998 and 2012.

"I'm happy for him because I know John a little bit and I know for certain that he's not trying to get an advantage," Martin, who is now the men's coach at the University of Oregon, said in an interview with Golf.com.

"He just wants to play in a tournament he has a rich history in. He just wants to be part of the action. I'm grateful that he's going to get that chance."

John Daly will be riding in style at the PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
John Daly will be riding in style at the PGA Championship. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

But Martin's was a much different case. He suffers from a birth defect in his right leg that restricts circulation, making it virtually impossible for him to walk 18 holes a day over four rounds. He successfully sued the PGA Tour for the right to use a cart in a case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court.

While many golf purists criticised Martin for seeking an accommodation, his was a just cause. There was nothing he could do about his condition and, frankly, deserved to be applauded for overcoming such steep odds to play golf at the highest levels. Besides, it was such a rare case, one unlikely to ever come up again.

Daly, on the other hand, may have established a troubling precedent.

An arthritic knee is an ailment that countless people must deal with when they reach their 50s. It's simply a part of getting old. The fact that Daly has been overweight for much of his career, so much so that he underwent lap-band surgery in 2009, has likely contributed to his knee issues.

Daly will be cruising around the PGA Championship even though Bethpage Black doesn't allow the general public to use carts.

On its website, the state-owned facility is described as "a difficult and challenging course that should be played only by low-handicap golfers. The course is for walkers only."

If Daly wants to be on Long Island next week, he should do what he does during Masters week: Set up his RV in the parking lot of the nearest Hooters - there's actually one around the corner from Bethpage Black - to sign autographs and sell merchandise for a still-adoring fan base that views him as some sort of everyman hero.

Let's leave the golf to the real players.

- AP, New York Post