SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - John Daly proved that he still has length. The club that he threw kept going and going until it splashed into Lake Michigan -- far enough from shore for a boy on a boat to fish it out and hold it up as if it were the Wanamaker Trophy.
Daly, of course, did win that trophy in 1991, capturing the PGA Championship. He has had a stunningly checkered life since then, but he still is quite a personality. He wears wild colors on his pants and his heart on his sleeve.
He was in line to make the cut Friday when he got to the lakeside par-3 seventh hole and saw it all go down the drain as he hit a tee shot into the water, then another, then another. Finally, he aimed way to the left and found land with a shot. Realizing that his week was done, he took the club and sent it whirling, helicopter style, into one of America's Great Lakes. He made 10 on the hole and left his mark.
"He threw it about 50 yards," said Matt Dobyns, the head pro at Fresh Meadow Country Club in Lake Success, who was playing in Daly's threesome. "He was going to keep hitting them in the water until he hit the shot he wanted to hit. He does run hot. It's always exciting with J.D."
Dobyns finished at 5 over par, six strokes better than Daly, but missing the cut by four.
New York notables
Brian Gaffney, head pro at Quaker Ridge in Scarsdale, finished at par and was the only one of the 20 club pros to make the cut. "I guess this is validation for all the hard work I've done over the years," he said . . . Ben Polland, assistant pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhasset, was at 1 over but faltered and finished 8 over. He said the experience will help him in the Met Open later this month and at PGA Tour Qualifying School.