Las Vegas may be a dangerous place for someone with a gambling problem, but self-described slots addict John Daly bet the house that a hot hand this week in Sin City would help him earn his first full-time PGA Tour playing card since 2006.
Daly, in the field for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open, entered the game at No. 132 on the tour money list -- just seven spots out of the coveted top 125 who will make it to The Show in 2013. Thanks to a sponsor’s invitation for Timberlake’s swan song, Long John hoped to build on a season featuring four top-20 finishes and make his way back to the U.S. after plying his trade far from home on the European Tour.
For sure, the two-time major winner has had PGA Tour membership in his sights for some time.
"My goal is to get my U.S. card back,” Daly said earlier this year. “I’m looking forward to being 50 [years old] and playing the senior tour. I’m enjoying the European Tour, but the travel is killing my body. I love the guys there, they’re great. It’s a great tour. But it’s tough. If I have to keep doing it, I’ll do it.”
Daly was not the only player hoping to hit lucky No. 125. Several golfers hovering on or near the cut line for tour membership were at TPC Summerlin as well. Kevin Chappell began the week exactly on the bubble, while Billy Mayfair, Gary Christian, and David Mathis were just a few of the competitors on the course with their 2013 seasons on the line.
At 2-under through 13 holes on Thursday, and with a lot of golf left to play and an ever-changing leaderboard, Daly was projected to finish at No. 131. He is currently an alternate to get into The McGladrey Classic in two weeks as well as inside the ropes for next month’s Children Miracles Network Hospitals Classic. Daly could also receive sponsors’ invitations to any or all of the three season-ending tournaments, which includes next week’s Frys.com Open.