John Daly at work

To be sure, the Valley's biggest annual sporting event (though NASCAR definitely is right up there) is much more about the scene than the golf. Every now and then, however, we stop to watch a professional golfer hone his craft. To wit, the ever-popular "Big" John Daly, the most dysfunctional hillbilly linksman this side of the Ozarks. We wandered over to the practice area on a Thursday morning last January, the first day of the tourney. Right there before us was the powerful Daly working with his caddie. By work, we mean chain-smoking cigarettes, chugging from a two-liter bottle of Coke, and hitting ball after ball with amazing precision at a makeshift target of empty chocolate-bar wrappers about 50 yards away. After he hit about 40 balls, Daly pulled a Milky Way out of his golf bag, wolfed it down, walked over to his target site, and dropped his latest wrapper on the pile. Now that's an athlete.


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