John Daly, who once joked about a coronavirus “cure,” withdrew from the first major of the PGA Tour season on Monday, citing concerns about California’s spike of the illness.
Daly tweeted he was pulling out of the PGA Championship and would miss his first major tournament since 2013. The tournament is set to be held at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
“People keep asking why I WD from PGA??? California now #1 in cases/deaths, I had knee surgery, I’m a diabetic & I don’t feel comfortable flying. Being too close proximity to even small crowds & risk exposure with my health not worth it! God Bess & y’all be safe!” the longtime pro golfer tweeted.
California has tallied more than 522,000 coronavirus cases and 9,500 deaths. The San Jose Mercury News called July the worst month for California during the pandemic
Daly played in the Ally Challenge last weekend at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club in Grand Blanc, Mich. He finished even for the tournament and was tied for 58th.
He is the 14th golfer to pull out of the PGA Championship, citing coronavirus concerns.
Daly faced criticism in April when he appeared in a video shared by the Trump organization, which he claimed was a sarcastic joke. He said in the video that the cure for COVID-19 was a healthy dose of vodka, Diet Coke, and cigarettes.
Daly defended himself in an interview in Golf.com: “Shame we can’t have any humor in this country or this world anymore, you know, without somebody busting your you-know-what,” Daly told Golf.com. “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. Hell, I was just doing it for fun, just try to get some laughs in the tough times we’re going through.
“We all need some (fun) right now, we all need a sense of humor right now. We pray for the people who have fallen and pray for this virus to get over. I didn’t mean any harm by it.”
In the video in question, Daly encouraged fans to “just drink one of these a day” as he held up a bottle of vodka.
He added: “You know, sippy, sippy on a McDonald’s Diet Coke ya know, wash it down pretty good. Never have a hangover. And that’s the way you kill this coronavirus, I believe. But y’all be safe, take care and hopefully, we’ll be getting back to the things we do best pretty soon.”