John Daly PGA Tour notebook: Swing coach Butch Harmon gives up on hard-partying John Daly

John Daly's hard-partying ways have certainly taken their toll on his career over the years. Now, they have apparently cost him a swing coach.

Butch Harmon, who formerly worked with Tiger Woods and now counts Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott among his clients, told the Associated Press Tuesday that he is ending his short-lived working relationship with Daly. Harmon's decision apparently came after Daly's behavior at last week's PODS Championship, which allegedly included the two-time major champion spending a 2 1/2-hour rain delay partying in the Hooters corporate tent.

"My whole goal for him was he's got to show me golf is the most important thing in his life," Harmon told the AP. "And the most important thing in his life is getting drunk."

Harmon said he has worked with Daly three times this year. Daly, whose last victory on the PGA Tour came in the 2004 Buick Invitational, now plays most of his tournaments on sponsor's exemptions. His best finish in eight starts this year is a tie for 60th at the Mayakoba Classic in Cancun, Mexico.

Harmon said Daly showed the ability to work hard and improve, but when things started going poorly, he always seemed to go back to drinking.

"I love this kid," Harmon said. "He's a tremendous talent, but if he's not going to give 100 percent effort, it's a waste of my time."

Autograph from the King

Golf legend Arnold Palmer was asked if he would stop and pose for a picture during the pro-am at his golf tournament Monday at Bay Hill. The scenario was nothing unusual for Palmer — except for the fact that the person requesting the photo was PGA Tour player and longtime fan Sean O'Hair.

"He's the man," O'Hair told reporters Tuesday, just two days after winning the PODS Championship. "He's the ambassador of the game. I think there have been so many greats. You can name Hogan, Snead, Player, Nicklaus - all those guys - they are just obviously the godfathers of the game."

O'Hair said he was so in awe of being in Palmer's presence that he couldn't even recall their previous day's conversations.

"You just think of what he's experienced and how cool it would be to experience the things that he's done and some of the things that he has achieved, it's amazing," O'Hair said. "So I just kind of wanted a picture so I could show my grandkids one day."

Els withdraws from Bay Hill event

Citing fatigue, Ernie Els has taken himself out of the field of this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla., according to PGA Tour officials.

On March 2 Els recorded his first PGA Tour victory in the U.S. in more than four years when he captured the Honda Classic. However, he missed the cut at last week's PODS Championship.

"Maybe I was a little mentally tired and maybe I needed a little bit of a break," Els said through his management company. "We'll regroup and see what happens."

Noteworthy

• A victory by Woods this week in the Palmer Invitational would give him 64 for his career, which would tie Ben Hogan for third on the all-time list. Meanwhile, a victory by Vijay Singh would give him 32 career wins and put him first on the all-time list of international winners.

• With 25-year-olds O'Hair and J.B. Holmes both winning their second career PGA Tour titles this year, there are now 15 players under the age of 30 who have won Tour events. Eleven of those players are from the United States.

• Ryuji Imada is quickly making his mark on the PGA Tour this year. Imada is seventh in the FedExCup points standings, finishing in the top five in three of his last four starts, including runner-up efforts at the Buick Invitational and the PODS Championship.

• Scott Verplank had his streak of par or better rounds snapped at 28 after he recorded a 79 during last week's PODS Championship.

March 12, 2008

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