John Daly's big swing may have given him a bad back, and that bad back made galleries duck for cover during practice rounds for the PGA Championship.
"I don't think I've ever hit the ball as bad as I am right now," Daly said Wednesday.Golf's longest hitter, who won the 1991 PGA at Crooked Stick, said he's flinching on his follow through and pushing the ball too far right.
"Muscle tissue in my back keeps swelling up," Daly said. "Doctors told me I need to take a month off.
"I'm leaving shots wild right and I've even shanked some of them," Daly said. "Now I know how amateurs feel. I can't follow through."
Southern Hills Country Club could be a perfect course for Daly if he can find a medical miracle in the next 24 hours. It's a good driver's paradise.
"I can hit my driver on seven to nine holes," he said. "The rest I can go at with a 2-iron. I think it's a great course. It's a lot like the course I won at in Atlanta. I don't have to guess which holes I hit drivers on. And I like the greens."
Since Daly won the BellSouth Classic seven tournaments ago, he's missed the cut three times and withdrawn once.
"The last seven weeks have been tough," Daly said. "I'm getting impatient. I've just been doing too many (corporate) outings. I did six in four weeks. I just said `no more.' That's too much. You can't expect to do that and play well."
Daly, 28, is making $1 million this year by endorsing Wilson products but hasn't had much fun on the course. He's a recovering alcoholic, has gone through a divorce and got into hot water at the British Open when he suggested some professionals on tour were using performance-enhancing drugs.
He later recanted the substance abuse quotes, saying they were taken out of context.
"Problems are a part of life," Daly said. "My problems are a lot less than what they used to be. I've had a lot of ups and downs but I've learned to take the good with the bad and I don't care what anybody says.
"A lot of people thought I won a major too early but it's better to go ahead and win one when you're young than have to wait 20 or 30 years like some guys have."
Daly rates his most pleasurable moments since his surprise victory at the PGA three years ago as "winning at Atlanta and sobriety.."
He said the "low" point was when he walked off the course at the Hawaiian Open and was banned from the tour for three months for unprofessional behavior.
Since then, Daly has treaded the straight and narrow. However, he has harnessed the magic of his amazingly long game just once at Atlanta.
"My golf isn't that great right now but everything else is," Daly said."I've still got my fans. There are a lot of people coming over from Arkansas to see me. I saw a lot of pig hats out there today."
They just need to be cautious if they're standing on the right side of the fairway.