Sports

Talented golfer commits to playing in Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

John Daly will play in the 2017 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic
John Daly will play in the 2017 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic Associated Press

John Daly will play in the 2017 Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, tournament officials announced on Thursday.

The MGRC, which is in its eighth year, will be held March 30 – April 2 at Fallen Oak in Biloxi. The Golf Channel will televise the MGRC for the seventh consecutive year.

This will be Daly’s second time playing on a Coast golf course. In November, 2007, Daly played in the Jerry Kelly/Mickey Bradley Pro-Am at Shell Landing Golf Course at Gautier to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

“It’s a great impact for the tournament to have John Daly involved,” MGRC Tournament Director Steve Nieman said. “I talked to him and he’s excited about it. John has a great attitude and he’s appreciative of the fans who come out to see him. The South Mississippi fans will enjoy him. I’m looking forward to it.”

Daly, 50, is entering his second season in the PGA TOUR Champions.

The Carmichael, California, native is considered one of the world’s most popular golfers, drawing huge crowds whatever tournament he played in. He’s nicknamed “Long John” because of his long driving distance off the tee.

Daly has captured two major golf championships — the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open.

The Phoenix resident turned pro in 1987, earning his first pro victory at the 1987 Missouri Open. He joined the PGA Tour in 1991. He was named the 1991 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year after winning the PGA title.

After winning the PGA title, Daly celebrated with a dinner at McDonalds.

“I couldn’t cash the check yet, so I really didn’t have any money,” Daly told ESPN.

In 2004, Daly was named PGA Tour Comeback player of the year after the Buick Invitational that same year.

ESPN profiled Daly in its highly-acclaimed 30-for-30 series on Nov. 1. The 90-minute film, entitled “Hit It Hard,” unveils how Daly received adult golf clubs at age four and overcoming an abusive childhood.

The program also revealed Daly’s wild gambling streak, claiming he won between $40 and $45 million at the tables, but lost between $95 and $98 million during the same stretch.

Daly is the only eligible two-time major winner never selected to play in the Ryder Cup.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic

When: March 30 – April 2

Where: Fallen Oak in Biloxi

TV: Golf Channel

Tickets: $15, go on sale Friday. Available online at www.2017MGRC.com or the tournament office at 228-896-6365. Children 16 and under, free with an adult. Active and retired military and their families, free with a military I.D.

Volunteer info: visit 2017MGRC.com.

  Comments