Sunday, April 12, 2009
I Believe in Miracles
We were right across the street from the gates of Augusta National last Wednesday when we noticed two large buses advertising John Daly merchandise. We decided to wait until we came out to stop by and check out the merchandise.
Not to our surprise, when we returned late in the afternoon, Mr. Longshot himself was selling his merchandise. I donated to his cause by purchasing a flag from him. I also got his autograph on the flag and had my picture taken with him.
For you non golfers, John Daly knows what it’s like to be on top. He has won 19 professional golf events, including five PGA events . Two of those five PGA events were majors. His endorsers have included some of the biggest companies in sports.
He drew crowds and increased attendance wherever he played not only because he hit the ball further than everybody else but he never fit the persona of a professional golfer. People related to him.
To say his life has resembled a train wreck off the course would be an understatement.
When Daly was 23 years of age, he says he drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every day. Last fall he was arrested in North Carolina for public intoxication. (See mug shot). He has been in and out of alcohol rehab facilities and has lost between 50-60 million dollars on his gambling problem. Daly has been through four wives, charged with domestic violence and earlier this year his $1.6m home was sold on the courthouse steps.
He has picked up his ball and walked off the course in the middle of a golf tournament and seemingly purposely hit numerous balls in the water at the end of a round that had gone bad.
Late last year he was suspended from the PGA tour for six months.
My question is why in the world would a man with this much God given talent throw it all away? How could a man who was at the top of his sport with more money than he could possibly spend be forced to be standing outside of an event like the Masters peddling golf merchandise to survive?
The truth is it happens every day.
Life is a series of choices. We can choose to walk down the right path or we can choose to walk down the wrong path. There are consequeces when we choose the wrong path.
Sometimes the bad choices we make take us further than we meant to go, keep us longer than we meant to stay and cost us more than we meant to pay.
And it can happen to any of us.
For the record, I am pulling and praying for John Daly. I refuse to kick a man when he is down. He is not drinking now and has lost 40 pounds. His PGA golf suspension ends at the end of May.
Here’s hoping John Daly comes back to the PGA tour a new man.
It’s Easter Sunday. I believe in miracles.