By Phil Hecken & John Okray
I’m joined today by longtime UW reader John Okray, better known by his nom de post “Johnny O.” I had been wanting to collaborate with Johnny for a long time, and we were supposed to get together last weekend during the U.S. Open, since, aside from Johnny’s passion for everything Milwaukee, he’s also an avid golfer and a club pro. Which means that if I ever do hit the links with him, I’m leaving my wallet at home. Johnny’s also getting married in like a week so I want to offer to him, in advance, my
deepest condolences heartfelt congratulations. You da man, Johnny! While he was going to write on John Daly’s lower body stylings, I was going to take you with me on my little sojourn to the U.S. Open.
Unfortunately, Johnny had a personal matter which precluded our getting together last weekend. But, like the man whose stylings we’re about the hear about, Johnny has come back strong and we’re going to be hearing from him now. So without further ado (but with apologies and a tip of the cap to Ed McMahon), heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny:
I started playing golf when I was nine years old, I started working at a golf course when I was 15, and now I am an assistant golf pro at Glen Erin Golf Club in Janesville, WI … so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I follow the PGA Tour regularly. Something took me by surprise a month or so ago, when I noticed John Daly’s name all over the internet again. And this time it wasn’t because he did something stupid. It was because he was playing half way decent over on the European Tour (He was playing across the pond because he was suspended from the PGA Tour for six months).
Something else caught my eye about Big John Daly. It was the way he was dressed. On May 3rd, Daly was wearing some pretty funky pants at the Open de Espana.
Anyways…getting back to Daly, this look was strange for him, but nothing alarming. It wasn’t until the later in the week that Daly really put it into high gear with the fashion. For the next few days of the event, Daly wore this and this. In the words of my birthday buddy Keith Jackson… “Whoah Nelly!”
What in the world are you wearing Big John? Did you get dressed in the dark? I thought this occurrence might be a one week thing. I was way off. Turns out, the next week at the Italian Open (Daly finished in a tie for 2nd place) Daly wore these outfits: this, this, this, and this.
You will notice in that last photo, the belt buckle on Daly looks like an “L” and an “M”. So, I did some digging and found out that John Daly is now being sponsored by a company called Loud Mouth Golf. When perusing the site, you will find that Loud Mouth Golf not only features funky-style golf pants, but they make them in European fit, American fit, big and tall, shorts, belts, hats, and even sport coats.
Taking this quote from former Brewers announcer and now Padres announcer Matt Vasgersian … “Santa Maria!”
Over the next few weeks on the Euro Tour, Daly dressed up in many combinations from the folks over at Loud Mouth Golf. Some psychedelic examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and finally, here.
Coming from a golf pro’s point of view, I think this is a cool thing for Daly to do. He has dropped 40 pounds, and supposedly gotten things together mentally, and with his golf game. He even started a trend a few weeks ago to support awareness when Amy Mickelson was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was Daly’s idea to wear pink for support (not that he invented the idea or anything) and it was the PGA Tour who did the same thing the following Saturday.
I think the fashion on the PGA Tour has been kind of bland in the past decade or so. I think it is great that more and more guys are expressing themselves through their clothing. Even Ricky Barnes (who entered the final day of play sitting on top of the U.S. Open Leaderboard) has a cool sense of style.
Getting back to John Daly, his six month suspension was lifted last week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, where Daly played on a sponsor exemption, made the cut, shot +1, and tied for 59th. Daly didn’t let up on color combinations either.
I would love to hear other opinions on the new style of Daly. I know it’s kind of off the wall, but I kind of like it. Since Daly’s sponsorship, I have had at least three guys come into the pro shop with Loud Mouth pants on. I always ask if they know that John Daly has been wearing those brand of pants, and they reply, “Oh yeah, that’s why I got them. If he can make them look good, so can I.” The pants go for $90, come in a ton of colors and patterns, and have cool names associated with them … what’s not to love?
So, I was lucky enough to attend both a practice round and the
second rain-delayed first round of the U.S. Open last week, located in Bethpage, New York, a scant 10 miles from my home. Ya can’t bring a camera to the “real” golf, but they let you take pics at the practice round. Of course, Tiger plays at like 6:00 am, so by the time I got there, he’d finished up his practice round. Did catch him on the practice green though, where he flashed those Tiger whites after sinking a long one. After Buick went belly-up, Tiger is now sporting AT&T on the bag.
They sold these huge giant golf balls in the merch tent. Why would you need a huge giant golf ball? The better to get autographs of course. Most of the players were pretty accommodating. This dude wanted to sign my camera. Actually, he was signing one of these flags, which were also apparently hot sellers.
Moving on to the course, I followed Sergio Garcia for a few holes. If you weren’t aware who he has a clothing contract with, all you had to do was check out his belt loop. The Long Island crowds were actually pretty nice to him considering in 2002 he flipped him the bird. And check out that photo (first one in the article). Then compare it to this one (like so). Yeah…I’m in the wrong business.
Angel Cabrera, the Masters Champion, was also on the course. What a nasty SOB. Didn’t smile, didn’t sign autographs, walked right by little kids with those big balls and flags. This was him teeing off on the 208 yard 17th. Nice swing. Douche bag.
It’s a big course. In fact, it’s like 7,426 yards long, and I think I walked every foot of it. I actually used to play this course back in the early 1990’s. And yep, they had that sign back then. Greatest golf moment in my life came on this course, when I missed aceing the 8th by a foot.
Caught Rory Sabbatini for a hole. While perhaps more famous for his ‘feud’ with Tiger (and why I personally believe he’s no longer with Nike), Rory now has Nerf as a sponsor. He’s also famous for some really crazy belt buckles, although when I saw him, he was much more reserved.
Former Masters Champ Mike Weir was also on the course. He was pretty cool, getting into it with the crowd. Astute hockey fans, are we Long Islanders, even if we don’t have a professional team, and the fans good naturedly chided him with “how about them Penguins?” (Weir, a canadian, is a huge Wings fan). He’s cool (oh yeah, I already said that).
There were like 900 merch tents scattered throughout the grounds, selling all kinds of stuff. Considering a hot dog was $6, a water was $3 and a brewski was $9, this was a relative bargain. New Era, are you paying attention???
Not sure why I took this picture, since I don’t recognize who’s teeing off, but if you notice the volunteers all have pink sweatbands, a nice gesture towards Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy. Here’s another shot with those same volunteers, this time with boy wonder Rory McIlroy jacking a drive.
All in all, a good day, as I went the only two days (practice rounds and actual tournament included) that didn’t have a drop of rain. Caught a few more notables, including two-time defending British Open Champ, and PGA Champ Paddy Harrington. Caught Brent Snedeker on the practice green, as well as former Masters’ champ Zach Johnson. Out on the range, caught former US Open champ Jim Furyk and Ryder Cupper Kenny Perry (who is taking what looks like an Al Czervik swing, but drilled that particular one about 300).
Good times. Good times. Took about 350 photos, and I’m sure there are some I should have included besides these, but that’s what I uploaded. Only regret was not seeing Phil Mickelson during the practice round, because he didn’t arrive until the following day, but I made up for it on Friday, when I followed his group (which included Ernie Els and Retief Goosen) for about 9 holes.
Guess The Game From The Scoreboard: I have a feeling I’ll never be able to stump you guys. But I’m going to try once again. There are clues on the scoreboard (shouldn’t have much trouble figuring out WHERE they’re playing this game). As always, please include the location, date and final score, all of which can be found by linking to Baseball Reference or Baseball Almanac. Good luck. Ready? Guess The Game. As always, if you guys have any scoreboards you’d like to submit for this game, drop me a line.
Have a good Saturday, folks!