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'Wild thing' John Daly confirmed for 2014 Irish Open at Fota Island

Crack out the crazy pants, the big swinger is coming to Cork.

John Daly and playing partner and golf talk show host Holly Sonders at the Humana Challenge golf tournament.
John Daly and playing partner and golf talk show host Holly Sonders at the Humana Challenge golf tournament.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

JOHN ‘WILD THING’ DALY is coming to Cork this summer. The two-time Major winner has been confirmed by event organisers for its 19-22 June staging at Fota Island Resort.

Daly, who turned 48 on Monday, has committed to playing in a tournament that he debuted in 20 years ago. Daly finished second in his first Irish Open appearance, back in 1994.

The American won the PGA Championship in 1991 and followed that up, four years later, by clinching The Open at St Andrew’s in Scotland. He commented, “I can’t wait to get over there. I always love my time in Ireland, which is a place of great golf courses and brilliant fans.”

He is the only two-time Major winner never to be selected for the Ryder Cup but will get an opportunity to pit his golfing wits against two Irish players that are set to feature in this year’s event at Gleneagles.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have committed to playing at Fota Island, as well as former Ryder Cup stars Paul McGinley, who captains Europe in September, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington. Daly pipped Harrington to the 2001 BMW International Open — his last major victory. His last time in the winners’ enclosure was the Korean Open in 2003.

China Golf Masters John Daly at the BMW Masters golf tournament in Shanghai, China, last year. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Daly’s low point arrived in 2006 when he finished 193rd on the PGA Tour money list and lost his non-exempt status. He now relies on sponsors and tournament invites to feature in some of golf’s bigger tournaments as he is still a popular draw. High finishes of note in recent years include second at the Italian Open and 18th at the PGA Championship in 2012.

Other confirmed Irish entrants include Shane Lowry and fellow European Tour winners Michel Hoey, Peter Lawrie and Damien McGrane.

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Patrick McCarry

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