Mar 9, 2013 10:13 PM by Chitimacha Open
BROUSSARD - John Daly, one of the most recognizable figures in professional golf and a two-time major championships winner, has committed to play in the Web.com Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
Daly, the 1991 PGA Championship winner and the 1995 British Open champion, has been one of the most popular players and intriguing figures on the PGA Tour for over two decades due to his distance off the tee, his colorful wardrobe, his gregarious manner and his "grip it and rip it" philosophy on the course.
Now, he becomes the most well-known name to participate in the Louisiana Open in its 22-year history, according to executive director Danny Jones, who made the announcement of Daly's commitment on Saturday.
"He's the biggest name ever to come here," Jones said, "and there's no doubt he's the most well-known personality to ever be in our field."
The Louisiana Open is set Thursday-Saturday, March 21-24, at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club. The 22nd renewal of Acadiana's premier professional sports event is once again the first U.S. stop on the Web.com Tour, and tournament activities begin next Sunday with the finals of the Cypress Bayou Casino & Hotel $1 Million Hole-in-One Shootout.
Jones said it has yet to be determined if the 46-year-old Daly will participate in one of the Wednesday pro-ams, but he said that Daly will be part of the week's activities leading up to the competition in some fashion.
"This is going to be a win-win situation for us," Jones said. "He may play in a pro-am, someone will get the opportunity to be a walking scorer with him, and we know he's going to be hugely popular with our galleries."
Jones said that Daly's agent, Bud Martin, contacted him late in the week about the possibility of an exemption into the event. Jones told Martin that he didn't need the exemption, and that he could get into the field on his own "number" in the Tour's priority rankings for gaining playing spots.
"He said he'd call me back," Jones said, "and 20 minutes later he called back and said John was in."
Daly is currently participating in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open at Trump International in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He has rounds of 70-70-70-210 through Saturday and is tied for 54th entering Sunday's final round. It is his fourth PGA Tour appearance of the season after outings in the Sony Open, the Farmers Insurance Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Daly played in one Web.com Tour event last year, that at the News-Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tenn., and is a previous winner on the Web.com Tour, having won the 1990 Utah Classic in the Tour's first year when it was known as the Ben Hogan Tour.
Since then, Daly has won five times on the PGA Tour including the two major titles and has won over $10 million on Tour. He has also won four other international titles since turning professional in 1987. He was the 1990 PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year, and at the time he won the 1995 British Open he was one of only four Americans since World War II to win two major before his 30th birthday.
"More than anything, we're hoping that having him here will entice someone who's never been out to the tournament to come and give us a shot and see what we're all about," Jones said. "He'll obviously create a lot of buzz that we sometimes don't have in the Thursday and Friday rounds, and will help show people that they're going to have a good experience when they come out and help us get to our ultimate goal to make a positive impact on the Acadiana community."
Tickets for the Chitimacha Louisiana Open are available by calling the Open office at (337) 593-8000. Tickets are $10 daily, $40 for a week-long clubhouse pass and $65 for a skybox pass.