John Daly Might Need A Backiotomy, But He Is Dressed To Kill For The PGA Championship
As he prepares for his 17th (!) PGA Championship, John Daly, pictured above during a practice round at Hazeltine Wednesday, blames his recent weight loss for a back problem that he claims he never had, as he puts it, “when I was fat.”
Daly, who returned from a PGA Tour suspension earlier this season, said an injury suffered earlier this summer in Paris has caused his back to lock up at times. That’s resulted in tee shots hooking wildly to the left.
That’s what happened on the 12th tee Wednesday. His first crack at the longest par-4 (518 yards) sailed over the gallery down the left side of the fairway. “If it doesn’t go good [this week], I’m not worried,” Daly said. “I’m just going to go out and play, work on some things and try and manage the golf course the best I can.”
Unknown at the time, Daly won the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick in 1991 as the eighth alternate, finishing twelve under par and beating Bruce Lietzke by three strokes. Daly’s path since then has been tumultous at best, but it appears that now more than ever Daly seems at peace with himself.
Daly spent seven hours at Hazeltine yesterday, and while doing so, according to a Star Tribune report, “chain-smoked Marlboros, guzzled Diet Coke and interacted with Minnesotans who gawked at his lime-green shirt and polka-dot pants…”
Awesome. Chain-smoking, gulping down soda from McDonald’s and wearing outrageous outfits are the reasons why Daly remains golf’s Everyman and why, despite his on-and-off-the-course troubles, is still one of the most popular figures in professional golf.
So rock on and best of luck this week, John Daly. Set to tee off today at 12:55 local time, let’s all hope Daly stays proud and lets his freak flag fly.
(Photos by Star Tribune photographer Jim Gehrz)
Daly says weight loss has led to back pain [Star Tribune]
PGAs past: Recalling John Daly’s improbable 1991 win [Devil Ball Golf]