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January 21, 1999

John Daly


JOHN DALY: Started out, birdied 1, hit driver 7-iron, and the one in the bunker got up-and-down from like four feet. Then just trying to think of the birdie holes.

JAMES CRAMER: Next one was on one of the par 4s.

JOHN DALY: That is right up there. Okay. No. 6, I hit driver, L-wedge to about, I think, 20, 25 feet, made the putt.

JAMES CRAMER: Next birdie came on 11 on the par 3.

JOHN DALY: I hit 6-iron to about seven or eight feet, made it.

JAMES CRAMER: Then on 13, the par 4.

JOHN DALY: 13, the par 4, I hit 2-iron, wedge to about 12, 13 feet, made it.

JAMES CRAMER: And then on No. 15, another par 4.

JOHN DALY: I hit driver, little wedge in there, to about four feet, made it.

JAMES CRAMER: Last birdie was on No. 18.

JOHN DALY: Driver, 4-iron pin-high, chipped up to about four feet, made it.

JAMES CRAMER: According to our records, it has been 36 holes and no bogeys. You want to talk a little bit about how --

JOHN DALY: I don't want to jinx myself.

JAMES CRAMER: Tell us how the conditions were out there.

JOHN DALY: Just -- it was brutal everywhere. I just think Bermuda Dunes got the worst of it. It played very difficult yesterday without a whole bunch of wind, but today it was just -- I hit the tee balls just exceptionally well for me, and I had a lot of opportunities and missed a lot of short birdie putts, but I had a lot of great opportunities. I think I only missed one green and for me to do that when the wind blowing this hard on pretty much a tight golf course, just gives me confidence to say, hey, you know, I can play some tight golf courses every now and then.

JAMES CRAMER: Questions for John.

Q. You had the big show there with you today. How was that?

JOHN DALY: It was awesome. All three of them, I just love playing with them. It was more of a -- it was a huge treat for me to play with these three guys and probably your friends like we just went out there, had a friendly game of golf. All three of them, Mike was playing exceptionally well, Roy hit it okay; trying to straighten Charles out with that break dance move on his backswing. But other than that, it was just -- we just had a great time.

Q. What is your critique of Jordan's game, can he outdrive you?

JOHN DALY: Well, a couple of times, yeah. The tees were up a little bit, but I hadn't seen Mike hit it in about five years. Things impressed me most was how well he is putting the ball.

Q. John, there is also a story in Golf World this week about where you had been taking some medication, some antidepressants. Talk about that real briefly.

JOHN DALY: I took myself off of it. I had too many people tell me I need to do this and that, and all I can really say I should have gotten a second opinion on it. But I am going to try without it. I am going to -- I just -- I feel a lot of it that I have taken has done me worse and in some situations -- it has helped me in some. But if I get into a bind, then I will go see another doctor. But other than that, I am just -- I just feel that my body is telling me what it wants to do and wants to go off of it. Certain times in my life, I think I needed it, but right now, I just -- I think antidepressants have made me very lazy; taken a lot of energy out of me, and everyone of them that I have taken has done that and everyone says, well, that is just part of it. I really just think I got some bad advice from the people that were telling me I needed to be on this.

Q. You are not taking anything now? How long has it been since you took anything?

JOHN DALY: Probably about three weeks, but I just feel like I got a lot more energy and working out has helped an awful lot. So just -- I am just going to see what happens. It could be a bad move on my part, but also could make the world of difference. I took myself off medication three weeks before the British Open in 1995 and doctor here told me I needed to be back on it. Never really done anything since then. I had a pretty good west coast last year, but when you are playing golf and you don't have energy, because of something you take, it is just -- I am just tired of it - tired of all the advice and I think I have gotten a lot of wrong advice and it is my fault for not getting a doctor that, you know, at least a second opinion. The doctor I had, he cared an awful lot, but I should have looked into it more and I just didn't.

Q. We had a report that Charles Barkley signed a contract with Huston around the 10th green or tee, is that accurate?

JOHN DALY: Signed a what?

Q. We were told that he signed a basketball contract.

JOHN DALY: You'd have to ask him. I don't know. I don't know if he did or not (laughs). You would have to ask him. I didn't hear anything about it. Hey, Charles? Charles? Did you sign a contract?


JOHN DALY: He sure did. I was his agent on it. I helped him out a bit. I only take 4 percent.

Q. You don't think you could get him to say a word to the fellows in the tent, do you, John?

JOHN DALY: Charles, did you want to talk to them in the media center?

CHARLES BARCLAY: Tell them to call back.

JOHN DALY: He said call back. I think they are ready to play cards.

Q. In Pro-Ams everybody is saying who is playing with John, who is those guys with John Daly. Today it is who is that guy with Michael Jordan. Did that make it a little easier for you?

JOHN DALY: It was great. I mean, it does make it a little easier when a lot of the fans focus their attention on Mike and Charles and Roy. It makes it a lot easier for me. I can just go out and play golf and they are cutting up and having fun and we laughed the whole round. It was just a big treat for me to play golf a little more loose than what I usually do. I wish could I do it every day.

Q. Same question I asked earlier with the wind conditions and everything else today, did you play well or did you escape today?

JOHN DALY: I played very well. Like I said, only missed one green today. For me to do that on a golf course like this, when the wind is blowing, it is an exceptional round of golf for me.

Q. How do you assess your year last year and do you feel like you have a shot this year to get back to your top level of golf?

JOHN DALY: I think finally come out on Tour without so much to worry about. And it has all been written about. But to be able to come out and take a month here in the valley and do nothing but hit balls, practice over at Mission Hills, those people have been wonderful to me and I got a new teacher Bill Harmon over at Big Horn and it has just helped me an awful lot just to get on by myself and just practice. I haven't done that forever - to go back to some basic stuff that I haven't worked on in a while. I used to just come out on Tour, hit balls, you know, to get ready for the tournament week and now I have set myself up to be ready. And I did a lot last year, but the goal this year is to continue to do it throughout the whole year. And I was really disappointed not winning a golf tournament on the west coast last year. I got off my practice habits an awful lot last year and that is the goal to stay hungry and to practice through the whole year and not just, you know, 12 events.

Q. On the face of it, these golf courses won't seem to be courses that would cater to your game because they are kind of tight and short. Do you feel kind of like your ham strung playing these courses or does it force you to be a little more thoughtful in what you are doing out there?

JOHN DALY: Played most of them quite a bit. I only live -- I live in Mission Hills during the other two months of the off-season. I didn't even know Tamarisk existed and I am three minutes away, but it is a great golf course. To answer your question, I played Indian Wells an awful lot and Bermuda Dunes. I just -- I know what to hit off the tees now. I know there is -- I know when to hit driver and when not to. As long as I am hitting my long irons good, you could score on these courses.

Q. John Huston was in a little while ago, said one thing that turned his season around last year was keeping himself in holes and in rounds; when, in the past, he might have let things get away from him. Do you understand that and do you think you are doing that now more than you ever have?

JOHN DALY: That is something Bill Harmon has worked with me on, yeah. I did a lot of it last year and I am doing a lot this year and it has helped an awful lot. I mean, not taking chances where, you know, there is always a chance if I hit driver there is a chance it is going to go out-of-bounds or go in a water hazard or something when I something hit 2- or 3-iron and hit the middle of the green and make par and hopefully make a putt and make birdie. I am starting to think that way. Like I said, I like to do it, the rest of my life, but I like to just do it through this year. That is my goal, to work very, very hard this year and hopefully it pays off.

Q. You are up there for two days now but this is a five-day tournament. Do you think you can still keep it up for three more days?

JOHN DALY: I feel very good about my golf game. I am putting real well. Just a matter of, just like you said, playing smart and hopefully making a lot of putts. Weather should be a little better the next three days and wind ought to calm down a little bit, there will be a lot of great scores. Like usual, it will turn into a putting contest.

End of FastScripts....

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