By JOEDY McCREARY, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — John Daly struggled on his final hole Thursday. Maybe he needed Hootie to hold his hand.
Daly went from contender to curmudgeon after a triple bogey on the 18th hole capped an eventful 24-hour period at the PGA Championship that included singing a Prince song onstage with Darius Rucker.
Daly tweeted videos taken Wednesday night of himself joining the Hootie & the Blowfish frontman-turned-country soloist to sing “Purple Rain” and other songs.
The good times kept rolling through Daly’s 8:20 a.m. tee time — he was at even par through 17 holes with four birdies to balance four bogeys.
Then came the meltdown on 18 — the third of Quail Hollow’s brutal “Green Mile” stretch of finishing holes. He missed the green at the 494-yard par 4 and hit two poor chips before three-putting from 11 feet to drop well off the pace.
Before that, he was headed for his best round at a PGA Championship since his 69 at Kiawah Island in 2012. He earned his lifetime exemption at this major championship by winning at Crooked Stick in 1991.
Daly left Quail Hollow without speaking to reporters but was heard telling his fiancée that he wanted to “get out of here,” using a profanity to express his frustration with the course and heading straight for the parking lot.
The 51-year-old with the one-of-a-kind career certainly has a history of colorful episodes at majors.
He said in 1999 that he wouldn’t return to the U.S. Open and had “had it with the USGA and the way they run their tournaments” after he swatted a moving ball with his putter on No. 8 in his final round at Pinehurst No. 2 , taking an 11 on the hole and signing for an 81.
He apologized two days later and returned the following year at Pebble Beach, where he made a 14 on the par-5 18th hole, withdrew after his opening-round 83, dumped three balls into the Pacific Ocean and hit another into a backyard adjacent to the fairway. “Get me to the airport, fast,” he said upon leaving.
At the PGA Championship two years ago at Whistling Straits, he threw his 6-iron into Lake Michigan after hitting three tee shots into the water to the right of the par-3 seventh hole. He made a 10 on that hole, later explaining his actions during his walk to the parking lot by saying “it shows you care, that’s all.”
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