As I write this blog post, I am looking back, and is thankful for the path I have travelled as a human being, whether in my career, single motherhood, individually and or as a friend. I think seriously about my successes and failures and I am grateful for the opportunities good or bad. Only since those travels have made me who I am as a person.
I think life and its experiences prepare you seriously for what is to come, but sometimes the road travelled is not all that smooth, sometimes detailing a bumpy ride.
You may wonder why I am pouring my heart out in a sports and entertainment blog, and to you I would say, this is my only venue, to express my feeling, gratitude and emotions. I will also say that, someone needs to hear what I am about to write. And in some weird way, I just want to say how very much life imitates sports and sports definitely imitates life. Leading me right into the real reason for writing this post.
Everyone who knows me, or is just remotely acquainted will tell you that I am a hardcore golf fan, they will tell you also that I have a decent swing and even better golf game. But what they might not know is that I am a self made golf historian (lol). I follow the history of golf by reading about the guys who came before, Arnie, Jack, Ben, Phil and Tiger. But today, as I sit here and write to you, this post will not be about those legends or soon to be. This post will be dedicated to pro golfer John Daly the fighter, “big swing John”, and the humanitarian.
John Patrick Daly was born in Carmichael, California on April 28, 1966, but moved with family to Dardanelle, Arkansas when he was five, and he began playing golf the following year. Daly later attended Helias High School in Jefferson City, Missouri and was a letterman in football and golf, becoming Missouri state champion in golf. He later accepted a scholarship to the University of Arkansas as a member of their golf team.
John has been in the winners’ circle on numerous occasions on the PGA Tour, and you might remember him famously for his historic British Open win years ago. After turning pro in 1991, Daly has endured the highs and lows of professional sports and among and against its best odds, held on to fight his way back from a recent PGA Tour suspension to stops on the European Tour.
John showed up in Europe with his game in hand, finishing second in the 2009 Italian Open. As he continued playing his stops in Europe, I prayed for him, hoping that he would be back home strutting his stuff for the stateside fans. Never letting us miss a beat on his European voyage, we heard from him via twitter with his “Daly” updates about spending time with his new girlfriend, practice, his new golf fashions and his birthday celebration. Yes we were all rooting for John.
I have been extremely excited about his return to the PGA Tour, yes the dude with the big swing and absolutely perfect finish made strides in the British Open and the Golf Channel and ESPN highlights were my favorite. The comeback kid with the funny pants seemed happy and at ease again.
So recently, when I watched John at the Buick Open, I was saddened, but very hopeful. I realized that life had once again, knock on the wrong door for him. One thing made me hopeful though , was the fact that he always has the fighter power no matter. He has wheeled himself back and risen to the occasion. So I am praying hard that he overcomes all this odds and knocks one in from off the fringe at a PGA Tour stop real soon.
Daly’s career has been interrupted from time to time by off-course personal incidents but has always weathered the storm. Which tells me deep down inside, there is a man who wants to do the right thing.
He recorded an autobiographical album titled My Life, featuring guest performances by Darius Rucker, Willie Nelson, Johnny Lee, and Daron Norwood. He also contributed background vocals for the “Half Your Age” track on the 2007 Kid Rock album entitled Rock And Roll Jesus. I bought the album for the hell of it, because I did not know any golfers who wanted to do the music thing – and was pleasantly surprised.
So, say what you want about John Daly, he is someone, we should all be rooting for, because even in his deepest darkest hour. He has a shining light from within. In my contact with John via twitter, he has always been funny, upbeat and always reaching out to his fans.
Well from what I know about him, playing golf is only one of the reasons why I am a big fan, the other being his commitment to giving back to the community. Which to me says a lot about one’s commitment to life in general and there is no immitation to that.
Daly is known for his involvement in many charities including several in northwest Arkansas. He has donated money to his high school, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Daly is also an active supporter of the sports programs at the University of Arkansas. He shaved his signature “mullet”, and donated the proceeds from the event to various charities. Daly regularly plays in the celebrity Pro-Am Monday After the Master hosted by his friends, Hootie and the Blowfish.
As my Dad (a wise man) once told me, he said that we should always look for the good people have done, whether for you or someone else, because if you do, that is what you will remember about them. A saying that I hold very near and dear to my heart. Here is hoping Mr. Daly will rise soon to the occasion and be back on his winning ways. Until then, I am one fan who will be praying that he does.
John, if you are reading this blog post, I know a handful of people rooting for you to get better. Hope you are checking your twitter mentions, as @heykim and @deb_dobson all sent their best regards. Don’t turn off that little light that shines from within. Much love and god speed. “tweet you later”