Monday, August 11, 2014
John Daly Wins PGA Championship
Daly became the first rookie to win a major title since Jerry Pate won the U.S. Open in 1976.
John Daly’s win was one of the most improbable and surprising wins in golf history. Daly was the ninth and final alternate for the tournament and after Nick Price dropped out and no other alternate was able to make it, John got his opportunity.
Although he did not play a practice round, Daly still shot a three under 69 in the opening round. He followed that up with rounds of 67, 69 and 71 to finish the tournament at 12 under par, three strokes better than runner-up Bruce Lietzke.
After his win, John Daly became an instant fan favorite. His massive drives, eccentric personality and colorful wardrobe still makes him one of the most popular players on the tour to this day.
Since then Daly has stayed a common fixture on the PGA tour. Daly has since won five PGA Tour events, three European Tour events, one Nationwide Tour event and one Asian Tour event, and has a total of 19 professional wins.
In 2004, Daly was named the PGA Tour Comeback Player of the Year.
Despite his great career Daly had problems with alcoholism, drugs, and gambling.
In 2006, Daly revealed in the last chapter of his autobiography that he has had great difficulty with a gambling problem. He claims to have lost between US $50 and $60 million over the past 15 years. This includes losing $1.5 million in October 2005, after winning half that amount at the WGC-American Express tournament; most of it lost on $5,000 Las Vegas slot machines. Daly has been able to pay his gambling debts mostly through making more paid public appearances and through sponsorship opportunities.
Also in 2006, Daly launched a wine label John Daly Wines, now defunct. The mixed drink John Daly is also named after Daly, though not with his approval. On Sunday, October 26, 2008, Daly was taken into protective custody by Winston-Salem police, after he was found drunk outside a Hooters restaurant.
At the British Open on July 15, 2010, Daly said he was no longer drinking alcohol.