The ankle, the foot and the knee. Those are the three injuries we’re hearing about the most this week at the PNC Championship, and strangely, only one of them belongs to Tiger Woods.
In addition to Team Woods’ noted injury struggles, the PNC’s defending champions, Team Daly, is also less than 100 percent this week.
“I’m getting my knee replacement done Wednesday, full knee replacement,” John Daly said Friday. “So I’ll be out for a while.”
Dad and two-time major winner John put off having his left knee replaced so he could play with son, University of Arkansas sophomore John II, this week. Because of the injured knee, Daly said John II will be the one putting the team on his back in Orlando.
“I’m a little banged up, but I’ll be the saddle. He’ll be the horse,” Daly told Golf Channel’s Steve Sands during the pro-am broadcast.
This event is one of the highlights of the year for Daly, he said, so there was very little chance he would miss it, especially with him not being able to see his son that often now that he’s attending college.
“I think just being able to play with my son like this and in a tournament like this, yeah, you want to win,” Daly said. “But it’s not heartbreaking if you don’t because it’s just being able to be out here with him and play golf with him in a tournament that is a lot of fun.
“Two-man scrambles, we don’t get to do this much on Tour. It’s just a blast to be able to play in it.”
Daly has been open about his use of a cart under the American with Disabilities Act at the 2019 PGA Championship due to osteoarthritis, among other conditions, and has even suggested Woods use a cart as well.
“I’m not embarrassed to take a cart,” Daly said. “It’s not helping my golf game by any means. I would rather walk and play golf because then you have time to settle down on a good hole or a bad hole and you’re walking instead of just getting in the cart and going up and hitting the shot. It’s actually a big disadvantage. But if I could walk, I’d definitely do it.”
Woods is using a cart this week but said he would not do so for a regular PGA Tour event. The PNC Championship is sanctioned by the PGA Tour Champions, where carts are allowed. Woods didn’t hit many full shots during the pro-am on Friday and Daly was limited as well.
“I can’t imagine how much pain [Woods is] in, but I know mine is — I had [my right knee replaced] three years ago, and it’s no fun when you can’t walk and can’t turn and be able to get out and practice enough and complete, which I can’t do right now really,” Daly said. “I pray for Tiger. I hope his leg holds up and gets fixed because we need him on the Tour. For me, I’ve had probably more surgeries probably than Tiger. They just keep adding up over the last five years. But I get this metal put in this knee, hell, I got more metal than the Bionic Man does.”
Daly was light hearted about the condition of his body, later telling Sands on the broadcast, “If I knew that I was going to live this long I would have taken worse care of myself.”
However, the downtime after surgery will allow him to spend more time with John II, he said, as he’ll be recovering while his son is also home for the holidays.
In the meantime, in addition to taking it easy during the pro-am, Daly appears to be doing the same on the range. GOLF’s James Colgan, who is on site at the PNC this week, reported Daly showed up at the range just 20 minutes before his first-round tee time.
Daly’s warm-up lasted eight minutes.