John Daly sat down with theguardian.com Monday to discuss his very colorful life, including golf, his drinking, public mishaps, and gambling.
Daly is as well known for his off the course incidents as for being a two-time major winner. He won the 1991 PGA Championship, and the 1995 British Open. He was the ninth alternate to even get in the PGA that year, meaning eight players had to drop out of the tournament for him to play.
“I’ll be there again this year, of course. I love it. Whether I am in the tournament or not, I have done all that stuff at Augusta since 2000. I love meeting the fans and it is a great way to promote my product, to get my lines out there.”
“I would love to be in the tournament again. I would just manage my time differently if I was playing but I would still be there, no question.” Daly has not qualified to play in the Masters since 2006.
Daly described has golf game as being “close.” “I think as we get older, we love the game even more. I feel like I still wouldn’t be pushing myself this hard; one if I couldn’t and two if I didn’t think I could win.”
Daly has had many publicized off course incidents, mostly involving alcohol.
In 2008, he was arrested in Winston-Salem, NC., after passing out and being publicly intoxicated, refusing medical treatment and spent the night in jail. He has stayed out of legal trouble since.
His long drives and aggressive style of play have made him one of the most popular players on the PGA tour for over two decades, despite, or maybe because, of his personal issues.
In his 2006 autobiography “John Daly: My Life In and Out of the Rough,” he also addresses his gambling problem. He said he lost between $50 million and $60 million in 12 years. He said it could “flat-out ruin me” if he doesn’t get it under control.
He told a story of winning $750,000 after losing to Tiger Woods in a playoff of the 2005 San Francisco World Golf Championship. He then drove to Las Vegas and lost $1.65 million in five hours playing $5,000 slot machines.
Daly’s personal life was in full view during his 2010 reality show for the Golf Channel “Being John Daly.” He talked openly of his four divorces and lap band surgery that helped him eventually lose 115 pounds.
Daily is at the Masters this week to sell his merchandise outside of his tour bus at Hooters on Washington Road, which is near Augusta National Golf Club.
The tournament starts Thursday.
[Image via golf.com]