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Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Daly publishes writer's phone number

By Bob Harig
ESPN.com

John Daly has prompted his followers on Twitter to complain to a Florida sportswriter whose story published Tuesday outlined the golfer's lengthy PGA Tour disciplinary file, as reported from public court documents.

Daly referred to Florida Times-Union golf writer Garry Smits as a "jerk" and posted the writer's personal cell phone number.

"here's the JERK who writes NON-NEWS article on debut of my show -- CALL & FLOOD his line & let's tell him how WE feel," Daly said on Twitter.

He added two tweets on the matter, saying "this isn't journalism, it's paparrazi -- like gossip." In a later post, he again ran Smits' phone number.

The paper had been granted access to Daly's PGA Tour disciplinary file as part of a lawsuit Daly filed in 2005, accusing the Times-Union of libel.

The lawsuit was thrown out and when Daly's appeal was rejected late last year, the information became public record.

Smits said he attempted to reach Daly or his representatives for two weeks before the story was published, but received no response. Daly's agent, Bud Martin, was unable to be reached Wednesday morning -- by which time, the tweets had been removed.

Within a few hours of the post, Smits said he had received more than 30 messages on his cell phone. "None of them were threatening,'' he said. "It's not unlike anything I would get after covering the Florida-Georgia game.''

Daly removed the tweets by midmorning Wednesday. He did not return a voice mail left for him, although he said in a text message to The Associated Press, "Gary left his cell number and e-mail address from phone number he left in the article public record far as I'm concerned." He did not answer the phone after the AP received his text.

The Daly story detailed numerous issues the PGA Tour had with the golfer over the years, including six suspensions, 11 citings of "conduct unbecoming a professional," and 21 times in which Daly was cited for failing to give full effort. The PGA Tour also on seven occasions ordered the two-time major champion to undergo counseling or seek alcohol rehabilitation.

The PGA Tour said it would have no comment on Daly's tweets.

Daly, 44, has five PGA Tour victories, but none since 2004 and has spent the past several seasons playing on sponsor exemptions because he has failed to retain exempt status.

Bob Harig covers golf for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.