John Daly: Will He Ever Win Again?

Joseph CiracoCorrespondent IJune 10, 2009

As much as I'd prefer to write about the return of Phil Mickelson this week, the player making the return from a longer hiatus is John Daly.

Daly returns after Tim Finchem and the PGA Tour suspended him for six months due to various off the course incidents. The suspension has been denied by the PGA Tour but confirmed by Daly himself.

What should we expect from Mr. Grip It And Rip It? 

During his PGA Tour suspension, Daly played numerous tournaments in Europe and even finished a very respectable second. But don't be fooled—that was the week of the Players Championship and the Italian Open had a very mediocre field.

Daly looks like he's lost at least 30 pounds, but he's going to need more than better health to compete and then win on the tour.

For numerous years, Daly led the tour in driving distance, but now the average distance off the tee is slightly over 286 yards. That means that the one time distance advantage for Daly is now gone.

The last time Daly was even in contention on the PGA Tour was in 2005 when, at the American Express Championship, he missed a putt of about three feet and lost to Tiger Woods.

At 12:54 PM EDT on Thursday, we're going to see whether Daly can still play. 

On this very course last year, Daly was terrible in the second round and shot an 81 and missed the cut.

I'm not sure if he'll play that poorly again, but I don't expect Daly to be in contention this week or any other week. At 43, he's still got the talent to make the top 125 in money earned, but I don't see him winning again.

Hopefully, his golf will provide more conversation amongst us fans and not more Hooters incidents and losing millions at casinos.