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John Daly has some advice for anyone looking to him as a role model - do the opposite of him and you’ll be fine! The 55-year-old two-time Major winner, now playing on the Champions Tour, was known as ‘Wild Thing’ at his peak in the 1990’s due to his antics on and off the golf course.
He said: “If you look at me as a role model, if you do the opposite of John Daly, you're going to do really well in life. That's the only way I can answer that.”
The 1995 Open champion is in Champions Tour action this week at the Hoag Classic in California. He is still hitting the ball around 300 yards, despite playing with a separated shoulder after opting against surgery that would have left him with a short swing.
“I just play with it separated.” said Daly. “That's how I get a nice cutout there. I just don't hit it anywhere anymore. I actually played with my shoulder separated. Sometimes it will pop back into place and I have to pop it back out. I went from a 30-yard draw flighting it 320 to a 10-yard cut flighting it only about 290. It's going to hurt when it gets cold, but I've had everything else, operations on both feet, the back. That's what happens when you get old. Some days I feel like Superman, some days I feel like Jimmy Hoffa six feet under.”
Daly was one of the first big hitters in golf, but despite the game moving on again in terms of how many players are long off the tee and how far they’re now hitting it, the Californian reckons it is, and always has been, about the short game. He said: “When I came out, hopefully I changed it a little bit. But the bottom line, it still doesn't matter, the guys are scoring because of the way they're chipping and putting and all that, but now there's probably 50 guys that could hit it over 350 yards on the PGA Tour. It's great to see, but they're still chipping and putting.”
In December, Daly teamed up with his son John II to win the PNC Championship in a record low score for the 36-hole scramble tournament of 117, 27-under-par. While Tiger Woods, playing with son Charlie, grabbed all the headlines on his comeback, Team Daly beat Team Woods by two shots to take the title. Away from golf, Daly has been busy recording a new album, Whiskey and Water, including a song with country music hall of famer Willie Nelson, which comes out this week.
Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!
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