John Daly cares not too much about the stick-up-the-butt traditions that some in the game of golf hold in higher esteem than Graeme McDowell does the Claret Jug. So it was not exactly a shocker that the big-hitting, chain-smoking, Loudmouth-wearing, two-time major champion showed up at Royal Liverpool on Wednesday sporting his favorite SpongeBob SquarePants trousers.
No doubt the tut-tutting Royal & Ancient guardians of all that is right and proper in the endeavor are feverishly scouring the Rules of Golf to find some arcane decision that would ban such improper and unscripted leggings from their precious links, effective immediately. Failing that, and with the 48-year-old 1995 Open Championship winner, by virtue of exemptions offered to former champions under the age of 60, likely to add some color to the contest for the next several years, the old snoots will just have to get over themselves and sit back and enjoy the show.
Shocking the establishment with his threads is pretty much Daly’s thing these days, since he has missed as many PGA Tour cuts this season (five) as he has made. Though Long John ended up skipping the event in favor of the Travelers Championship, the Irish Open in June even slated a “Wacky Trouser Day” and invited fans to “unleash their inner John Daly.”
As for GMac, a dapper fellow as unlikely to don a pair of Loudmouth pants as Daly is to slip into something as tame as McDowell’s natty line of men’s wear, the 2010 U.S. Open champ wants so badly to sip from the ewer that defending champion Phil Mickelson poured a $40,000 bottle of wine into, he would gladly forfeit a body part to do so.
“I’d give my left arm for the Claret Jug,” McDowell told reporters on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s kickoff to the penultimate grand slam tourney on the men’s 2014 calendar. “I would, actually. That would be the end of my career, but it would be a nice way to go.”