Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Why isn't John Daly at Q School?

November 17, 2010

The second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, better known as Q School, is in full swing, sans John Daly, who instead is in Hong Kong, playing in the UBS Hong Kong Open.

So, why isn't Daly at Q School, attempting to regain his PGA Tour exemption? The answer is obvious. There are still enough tournament sponsors who think he lends value to their events and are willing to expend a sponsor exemption on him. Alas.

Daly got into 18 tournaments in 2010 via the misguided benevolence of sponsors, and played another two, the PGA Championship and British Open, by virtue of his having won those events. Yet he finished 193rd on the money list and failed to finish in the top 10 once.

In fact, Daly has played 90 consecutive PGA Tour events without finishing in the top 10, dating to his playoff loss to Tiger Woods in the WGC-American Express Championship in 2005.

He no longer deserves his free passes, and remains a flight risk when he does get them -- he's withdrawn from events 17 times in the last five years, three times in 2010 alone, including the PGA Championship, when he chose not to return on Saturday morning to complete his second round when he had no chance of making the cut. A shoulder injury, he said, diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff that did not prevent him from playing in the Wyndham Championship a week later.

If he wants to continue playing, he ought to be required to earn his way.

-- John Strege