PALM HARBOR, Fla. – John Daly has suffered through enough double-digit holes, it wasn’t tough to shake off Friday’s octuple-bogey 12 at the Valspar Championship.
Rather, it was another feature of his career-worst 90 that had Daly far more alarmed as he beat a quick path to the Innisbrook Resort parking lot.
“When you’ve got the yips,” he said, “it’s no fun.”
Daly needed 37 putts to get around Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course on Friday, after a 33-putt performance in Thursday’s opening 74. The malady, he said, goes back to his final nine at last week’s Puerto Rico Open when he carded a 72.
“When you play a putt to go left-to-right and push it 3 feet right, you look like an idiot,” he said.
Daly tallied a trio of three-putts during Friday’s round, plus a four-putt at the par-4 second hole. His card showed three 6s and six 5s, though three of those came on par-5 holes.
That 12, though, is what folks are more likely to remember. It was at least the 16th time that Daly has recorded a double-digit hole on the PGA TOUR.
And the yips had nothing to do with it.
But he did pump three balls into the huge pond that runs alongside the Copperhead’s par-4 16th fairway – one off the tee, then a pair of 3-woods from the drop zone. Finally adjusting his angle of attack, he sent one to the left side of the fairway.
But then he compounded his woes by shanking a 7-iron. “I came right out of it,” he said. “Dead right.”
Daly followed by pitching into a bunker, blasting one through the green, then chipping one up to 2 feet. “I got up-and-down for 12,” he quipped.
He kept it six strokes shy of his worst hole on TOUR – an 18 during the 1998 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, when he put six balls into the lake adjoining No. 6. He also had a sequence at the 2011 Australian Open when he rinsed seven shots before walking off the 11th hole at The Lakes.
Friday’s 90, though, eclipsed his previous worst round of 89 set during the second round of the 2008 British Open at Royal Birkdale.
“It was just one of those days when nothing went right,” Daly said. “You hit it in the bunker, it buries. Hit it in the fairway, you’re in a divot. I even hit it in a divot in a bunker.”
And those putting woes. …
“When I shorten my stroke, I get quick and miss it left,” he said. “When I try to do my normal long stroke, I come up and push it. I’ve never had that problem before.”
Daly had been thinking about trying to get a spot in the Web.com Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open in two weeks, but his focus now is on fixing his yips.
“I’ve got to call somebody that’s had them,” he said.
MORE ON DALY: Scorecard