October 26, 2010
There are a lot of knocks thrown John Daly's way, but nobody can say he isn't honest about his past. Daly, 44, has been one of the most likable golfers in the history of the game, mainly because we have lived through his transgressions as his career continues to be the PGA Tour version of a yo-yo.
On Monday, Ron Green Jr. of The Charlotte Observer talked with Daly as he signed books at Rock Barn Golf and Spa, and Big John admitted a few things about his golf game, with the heaviest quote coming about how he used to play when he was liquored up.
"I've done everything right and haven't played worth a" darn, Daly said. "It's unbelievable. I'm giving myself the chance to play good. It seems the more I work, the worse I get." [...]
Daly was asked what he's learned about himself through the years.
"That I was happy when I was a miserable drunk. I played better when I was drunk," he said.
Daly paused, smiled half a smile and gently shook his head.
"I don't know," he said.
It might sound crazy, but it makes a little bit of sense when you think about it. When Daly was really hitting the bottle hard, he won two majors and two other PGA Tour events during that time. He was a golfer known for his long driving, but he had incredible touch around the greens.
While alcohol was most likely the reason his life spun out of control towards the end of the '90s, it sure seemed to work for a short period of time. Now, as Daly said, he is doing "everything right" and can't seem to find any success on the golf course. Daly hasn't had a top-10 finish on tour in four years, and hasn't won since 2004, when he got up and down from a bunker to win a playoff at the Buick Invitational.
He still is a guy that golfers will follow because we as humans can relate to the guy. We screw up, and unlike some of the top golfers in the game, Daly admits when he does wrong and that is something we can all appreciate. In a few years he will take his talents to the Champions Tour, and with his ability to continue to smack the ball a country mile, could have some success on the shorter courses similar to Fred Couples this season.