News & ToursAugust 3, 2015

What IF John Daly was a Ryder Cup captain? Five positives JD would bring to the event

Thanks to the inundation of a never-ending news cycle and our decreasing attention spans, most tidbits are ephemeral, forgotten before they're fully digested. For a report to have any type of permanence, it has to be particularly exceptional.

This is one of those items.

In his weekly Missing Links piece, Golf Digest's John Strege referenced John Daly's personal campaign for Ryder Cup captaincy. Speaking in Aberdeen, Scotland at an event hosted by British Open champion Paul Lawrie, Daly said:

"Hopefully I would one day be a captain, it would be fun. I don't know if I fit the mold. I don't know if I fit what the PGA of America would want.

"All I know is my team, if I was a captain, we'd have a blast. I'd make sure they had a blast. You don't want to wear a tie, don't wear a tie. Have fun. It's supposed to be fun.

"I think we just get wrapped up in it. I think when you're favored to win so many years like the Americans have been, I think we get uptight. Even the matches that we are getting killed in, we are favored in.

"I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. Just go out and play golf. It's great to play for your country, but it's still a gentleman's game at the end. I don't know all the facts and everything that goes on behind the doors when the captain is talking and everything, but I sense it (and) it's my opinion that the European guys get along better. When I see it on TV, it just looks like our guys are not having a good time."

(Wiping tears from eyes, giving Daly a standing ovation.)

JD is a lot of things, but no one has ever accused him of blowing smoke. (Unless we're talking literal cigarette smoke.) The man drops truth bombs, and in this case, it's a necessary blitzkrieg.

The Ryder Cup's self-perpetuating importance and gravitas, at least from the American side, has become a monster, and it's one that needs to be cut down. Who better to do it than Daly, a man who has a history of disrupting the status quo of the sport?

Here's why "John Daly, Ryder Cup Captain" is not an absurd proposition:

He's Right: It's Supposed To Be Fun

Instead of a friendly international exhibition, the Ryder Cup has become an increasingly jingoistic circus. Worse, much of this feeling is unnatural and forced. This isn't Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics; half the European roster are beloved regulars on the PGA Tour.

Forget winning or losing consequences; having Daly in the mix will return a sense of camaraderie to the event.

The Outfits. Oh, The Outfits.

For the unaware, one of the responsibilities of Ryder Cup captaincy is input on the team's ensembles. Meaning the Americans could march out in this:

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Or this:

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If the Yanks role out in these uniforms, I don't care what the scoreboard says. In my book, we're going to be winners.

Daly Would Take Away Pressure From The Players

Let's not sugarcoat it: despite his immense popularity among the galleries and fellow pros, the "Wild Thing" rubs many the wrong way. Daly's captaincy would be met with immense scrutiny from the press and the game's establishment.

Captains are often credited for their effect on the event's outcome, especially if that outcome is a loss. (See Watson, Tom.) Given his controversial nature, this would be amplified for Daly. While not an enviable position for the man himself, the players would appreciate not having the spotlight shine so bright, and might play in a looser, natural fashion.

It Would Inject Desperately-Needed Pizzazz

The 2014 Ryder Cup was slaughtered in TV ratings. Part of this stemmed from its time slot, yet there's no doubting the American sporting public's attention is divided during the fall between college and pro football and baseball's playoff race.

While golf zealots tune in no matter the ancillary factors, the event needs to draw in the general crowd. Adding Daly to the mix would help garner such eyes.

The Prospect Of Daly Making Himself A Captain's Pick

It's about time we bring back the player-coach concept. It worked for Paul Newman in Slap Shot, dammit! Besides, what better way to get the crowd into a frenzy than an unannounced Daly teeing it up during Sunday's singles matches? Hell, even Ian Poulter would smile at that. Maybe.

Follow @JoelMBeall


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