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July 8, 2010

John Daly


SCOTT CROCKETT: Thanks, as always, for coming in to join us today. Congratulations on a great start at The Barclays Scottish Open. Give us your thoughts on 67.
JOHN DALY: It was just one of those rounds that were real solid. I had a couple of gimme birdies which always helps. And I think the first eight holes is probably the best ball-striking I've had in forever, that I remember. There were a couple of opportunities that I could have had, but just a good ball-striking round. Hit a lot of fairways, and the couple of drives that I missed, I was able to play the shots. It was a nice start for me. I haven't been getting off to too many good starts.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Gives you the foundation, doesn't it, you're striking the ball well, you're finding the fairways and you can go around and score, can't you.
JOHN DALY: Yeah, you hit it solid, it's always a matter of just timing and getting the distances down a little more. The ball seems to go farther when you're hitting the shots really solid. It's just a nice start.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Can we get the details of your birdies, you birdied 2 and 3, what did you do there?
JOHN DALY: I hit driver and a really good 5-iron into 2 to about five feet and made it.
3, I hit driver, 3-iron just on the back fringe and 2-putted.
9, I just hit a horrible sand wedge out of the rough and left it in the rough and missed about a 6-footer for par.
10, I had one of those missed drives that I was fortunate to go into the hazard and cut a 6-iron in there to about four feet and made it.
13, I hit driver, 3-wood just over the green and got up-and-down. Made about a 4-footer.
14, drove it just right of the green. Hit a pretty decent chip. Kind of released and made about a 7-footer there for birdie.
15, I hit 3-wood, 9-iron, just hit it too solid and went over the back of the green. Got lucky it didn't go in the hazard and actually made a good bogey.
16, I hit driver, 9-iron to about eight feet and made the putt.
Great up-and-down at the last.

Q. When you say it's your best ball-striking in forever --
JOHN DALY: Really, it was nice. I haven't seen -- Michael Owen, who is a teacher that used to be in the States, he's trying to get his Visa or card back to come over. He's a teacher out at San Diego and he came out to watch me hit a little bit. He said, "Man, you're hitting it really good, but if you take the club out a little more outside you might start hitting it better." He's worked with me before. Just that little tip keeps my hands into my body, and I started hitting the ball even more solid.
Yeah, one of those rounds that the first eight holes, there wasn't even a shot that wasn't right in the middle of the clubface and really just really solid. Here, you have to worry about the fairways are so good that you can actually hit the ball a lot longer way. I know the weather is a little colder, but you can flush it; the fairways are so good here.
It was really neat. I haven't felt that good, that solid, in a long time.

Q. What's the hardest thing about not being able to make a full schedule, which you can't at the moment, can you?
JOHN DALY: It's been better this year. I made nine cuts in a row in the States, missed Hartford by a couple, but I got into quite a few tournaments in the States and made a lot of cuts. Just haven't done well, but I haven't done poorly on the weekends.
So it looks like I'm going to play in Canada after the British, playing Greenbrier, new tournament. Haven't heard from Turning Stone. Then just kind of play it out and hopefully I can get into the FedExCup somehow, and if not, maybe try and play one or two back over here while that's going on, and then the Fall Series, I think I'm going to get into a few of those.

Q. What now motivates you to keep working and improving and going out there?
JOHN DALY: The game more than anything. I'm very competitive, probably more competitive with myself than I am with the game. But I just feel like I've still got talent. I feel like I can still win and play good. You know, I'm still in two majors pretty much the rest of my golfing career if I want to be, and that helps.
Knowing that no matter what, if I wasn't getting exemptions in the States, I know I can come here with my British Open victory and still somewhat be a member here, and there's Nationwide on our tour. I love to compete. It doesn't matter what level to me anymore. It's always great to play the TOUR, and that's where I want to be, but I love to compete. That hasn't left me, and through everything that's gone on in my life, I still feel like I can play, compete.

Q. An extra buzz going into The Open, especially at St. Andrews?
JOHN DALY: No doubt. All of the Opens, all of the majors are very special but the British Open is my favourite. It's different golf. It's links golf and when it's at St. Andrews, it's even more special because that's where I won. I fell in love with that course in '94 and it's still my favourite golf course and probably always will be. So it's very, very special.

Q. Do you get more satisfaction from a round like that these days than perhaps in your wild youth, and does it perhaps surprise you that after all you've been through that you can still produce days like today?
JOHN DALY: I think even in my wilder days, you always take a good round and you build on it. You build on confidence.
This year has just been grinding out grind it out grind it out make cuts. It's tough, you're playing on Saturday morning at times where you might be eight to ten shots out of the lead and really not a chance to win the tournament.
But for me, playing four rounds is what I need each week to build that confidence. This is the fifth tournament in a row I've played where I've actually been healthy where I can work on my game and get confidence. The rib injury and sciatic nerve is going down my right hip a lot, but rib mostly the last three or four years; when you're trying to play golf hurt, you can't get any confidence. You're working around your injury.
Fuzzy, we have talked about it. His back for so many years, he had to work around it; it's hard to get confidence. You're just trying to be able to somehow get lucky and play good. But these last five weeks have really felt -- my body has felt solid where I can get something out of it.

Q. And in terms of satisfaction, do you think, well, after all I've been through, it's great to prove once again that I've still got that much game?
JOHN DALY: It's just nice to know that I feel inside, I really don't have a lot to prove to anybody but myself. And I still, like I said, love to compete.
You know, I'm only 44 years old, and I still feel there's a lot of golf left. It doesn't matter what happens. It's not a Tiger Woods career by any means or anything. It's not an Ernie Els career. But it is two majors and a few wins. It's in the top 20 of any player that's ever played the game.
So I've got to look at it that way and build on it and just keep working hard at what I've been doing, keeping the weight down and been working really hard on the game and it's starting to pay off.

Q. You've spoken about your financial problems; does that keep you playing, as well, the money side of things?
JOHN DALY: Yeah, you know, I've got a great accountant and lawyer working on my IRS stuff. Hopefully we can get a settlement. I lost 6 to 7 million dollars at the end of '07 with TaylorMade and 84 Lumber and Hooters and everything, and come January is when I used to pay all my taxes and there wasn't anything there. Then being hurt in '07, '08, I'm not making any money.
So, you know, it's a struggle but working it out. But you know, I'm playing golf because I still love to play.

Q. You're not broke --
JOHN DALY: No, I'm not broke, but just have to wait and get that settlement done and move on.
So, hopefully play great. You know I haven't had a club sponsor or a ball sponsor since the end of '07. That makes it tough, and most players know that that's the deal to get, the bag, the clubs and the ball is the most important, and I haven't had that in a few years.

Q. Might be a little personal, but exactly what do you owe the IRS? How much are they after?
JOHN DALY: Probably around a million, those three years. '07 was the bulk of it, but '08 and '09, I didn't really do my -

Q. It's a million, not billion?
JOHN DALY: No, it's not -- it's a million (laughter).

Q. What's the weight at the moment? Are you still trying to lose some more? The Diet Cokes, we saw you with a great, big tumbler on the course; how much are you drinking?
JOHN DALY: Not that many. I sip on them. Like this whole round, I had two full Diet Cokes. Used to have been about eight, eight to nine. I've got to sip on them and you guys aren't -- it's hard to find ice around here, so it's kind of nice to -- well, it helps the carbonation. Carbonated stuff doesn't go down very quick. I just love the taste so much I have to sip on it.
The weight, I've been 190 to 195 for right around eight months which is right where I want to stay. When I came over here I was weighing probably anywhere from 220 to 240 last year. I had lost only about 60 pounds. When I got the surgery, I was 308.

Q. Have you spoken much of late with Tiger Woods, and if you have, have you noticed much of a change in him?
JOHN DALY: I haven't. I saw him at JP's. I shook his hand, just asked him how he was doing, and that was pretty much the bulk of it. I've always told Tiger, he's got my number if he ever needs to talk or anything.
I think he's going to get his game back and work on that and he'll be okay.

Q. Do you think he'll be the old Tiger Woods?
JOHN DALY: I do. I think he will. For him I think it's going to take one victory, get that confidence going again.

End of FastScripts

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