But the fans loved seeing the cigarette-smoking, long-hitting Daly, who looks more like an average weekend golfer than a pro.
"It's your world, John", one yelled to him (per ESPN).
Playing at Long Island's Bethpage Black Course thanks to a medical exemption granted under the Americans With Disabilities Act and by virtue of his 1991 victory in the tournament, the two-time major victor delighted fans even as his arthritic knee appeared to cause him considerable discomfort.
The golfer showed up to the championship on May 16 decked out in New York Yankees golfing trousers, according to Yahoo Sports. "It's just something, if I don't I'm not going to be able to play, not going to be able to finish".
This time, he had to park short of the green and lumber up the hill. And the PGA gave him some suggested routes, but Daly said he improvised in some instances.
"It's very awkward, to a point it's nearly embarrassing, but I love the PGA, and I feel like as past champion I belong to play".
He's the first golfer to use a cart at a major since Casey Martin, who rode in one at the 2012 U.S. Open.
"It's very awkward. It's to a point where it's nearly embarrassing", Daly said (via ESPN). "There is no way I can walk it, but I feel like I belong to play because I am a past champion". "It played long and you just miss fairways by a little bit, the rough is so thick; probably the thickest I have ever seen, you are just laying up".
"This is a week that I can't leave disgusted because I actually played good golf", Daly said.
One of them said, "Do it!"
Daly walked off the green and climbed back into the cart.
The tough NY crowd agreed with him. "Some of them are going to get on you, but 99.9 percent of them are great". Daly routinely outdrove both of them, but he averaged only 289.6 yards, which is a far cry from his distance in the early 1990s, when he mesmerized golf fans with his booming drives.
Ultimately, it was Daly's putting that did him in.
Even in the twilight of his career, though, Daly is still the champion of the people. And what he is not allowed to have with him?
"I heard some hysterical things", Beem said. "He may be in too much pain to take any extra swings that don't count towards his score, but it was not exactly a rigorous routine to get dialed in before a major championship round".
"Let's go John, drive it straight!"