Daly: 'Tired of embarrassing myself'

Updated: January 30, 2010, 9:24 AM ET
By Jason Sobel | ESPN.com

The career of John Daly has undergone more twists and turns than a Shakespearean tragedy, but if we are to believe the two-time major championship winner, he may have come to the end of the road on Friday.

In an interview with a Golf Channel producer following rounds of 79-71 that left him well off the cutline at the Farmers Insurance Open, Daly maintained that he no longer will compete on the professional circuit.

"I'm done," a forlorn Daly said in the Torrey Pines parking lot. "Just can't play like I used to. ... I'm tired of embarrassing myself."

The interview was being conducted for an upcoming reality series on Golf Channel entitled "Being John Daly," the second such program the golfer has done with the network.

Early Saturday, however, Daly said on Twitter that he wasn't retiring.

"Never said retirement in anything or twitter-i want to correct that! simply sayin I need my time & working through these bad times thank you," the tweet said.

But just an hour earlier, Daly had thanked his fans in a two-part message on Facebook and claimed he wasn't financially able to continue on the tour.

"To ALL my Fans---my financial situation is putting me where I cannot focus on my game, I'm putting too much pressure on myself, the few sponsors that I have are great but it's not getting me thru these times--," the first part of the message read.

He continued: "i want to thank my fans throughout all these years & I don't like to continue to embarass myself-- maybe my mind may change down the road but right now i don't have the money to be on the tour. My game has never been the same since my rib injury during the Honda Classic in 2007. God Bless! JD"

Currently playing with only status as a five-time past champion, Daly has been left to seek sponsors' exemptions to PGA Tour events. Last year, he made the cut in three of six U.S. starts, with a best finish of T-27. This year, he already has failed to reach the weekend in each of his first two appearances.

Daly's motivation for his comments apparently stemmed from not wanting to take the place of another pro in the field.

When it was suggested he could return in two weeks at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Daly responded, "No, I'm not going to take that spot away from anybody, either."

Daly has also received a sponsor's exemption to the Transitions Championship outside Tampa, Fla., in March.

"We haven't heard from him," said Gerald Goodman, the Transitions tournament director. "I wouldn't anticipate that to happen. I'm sure he was frustrated."

Daly first burst onto the major golf scene in 1991, when as the ninth and final alternate into the PGA Championship, he earned a three-stroke victory at Crooked Stick. He claimed an improbable Open Championship victory four years later at St. Andrews, defeating Costantino Rocca in a four-hole playoff.

His most recent title came at the 2004 Buick Invitational -- the very same tournament at which he declared his future intentions on Friday -- but since 2006, he has failed to finish better than 188th on the PGA Tour money list in any given season.

Jason Sobel is a golf writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Jason Sobel | email

Golf Editor, ESPN.com
Jason Sobel, who joined ESPN in 1997, earned four Sports Emmy awards as a member of ESPN's Studio Production department. He became ESPN.com's golf editor in July 2004.