John Daly Profile
|Short Name||Wild Thing|
|Born||Apr 28, 1966|
While making numerous headlines off the course, 'Wild Thing' John Daly has tasted glory in both the PGA Championship and the British Open during his colorful career.
One of golf's most celebrated personalities, John Daly has often courted controversy, but he has also offered up plenty of thrilling moments on the course. He is particularly famous for his powerful hitting and huge backswing.
'Wild Thing' is a cult hero to his followers even though he divides opinion within the golfing world.
Daly turned professional in 1987, despite having had strained relationships with his coaches while at college.
In 1991, Daly caused a huge shock to win the PGA Championship on just his third start in a Major.
Personal problems threatened to derail his career, but showing the fighting spirit which had taken him onto the PGA Tour from humble beginnings, he prevailed once again and won the 1995 British Open.
Daly continued to have ups and downs, but has enjoyed a long and successful career as well as international fame.
John Daly's amateur career
John Daly burst onto the scene when he won the 1983 Missouri State Amateur Championship. The following year, he earned another important victory in the 1984 Arkansas State Amateur.
Daly went to the University of Arkansas from 1984 to 1987 on a golf scholarship. As an amateur, he qualified for the 1986 US Open, but opening round scores of 88 and 76 saw him miss the cut.
John Daly and turning pro
After finishing his degree, Daly left college and became a professional golfer in 1987. That year, he earned his first professional success at the Missouri Open. He was not a big-name player initially, although he did impress in several Sunshine Tour events in South Africa in 1989.
In the same year, he also made his first cut at a Major, finishing T69 at the US Open.
The following year, Daly won the Ben Hogan Tour Qualifying Tournament and earned full Ben Hogan Tour privileges.
He went on to win the Ben Hogan Utah Classic in 1990 and finished T12 in the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, earning 1991 PGA Tour privileges at the fourth time of asking.
John Daly and his PGA Championship win
John Daly became a cult hero when he won the 1991 PGA Championship against all odds.
Daly was the ninth and final alternate for the tournament. Nick Price dropped out days before the event as his wife was due to give birth.
Daly managed to get Price's caddie, Jeff (Squeaky) Medlin, on the bag and they clicked immediately.
After just one practice round at the notoriously challenging Crooked Stick Golf Club, Daly shot 69-67-69-71 to win that PGA Championship, beating the significantly more experienced Bruce Lietzke, who was 15 years older than him, by three shots.
His career would never be the same again as he shot to fame overnight.
John Daly and his British Open win
What goes up must come down and in the aftermath of Daly's PGA Championship success, he struggled to maintain stability. He had a successful 1992, but alcohol and behavioral issues threatened to derail his career.
After a turbulent two years, which featured a reported spell in rehab, Daly stunned the world once again as he beat Costantino Rocca in a playoff to win the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews.
Windy conditions derailed third-round leader Michael Campbell and despite Rocca holing an incredible putt from off the green to force extra holes, Daly gathered himself to win the famed Claret Jug at the 'Home of Golf'.
It is indicative of Daly's rollercoaster career that he is the only two-time major winner who has never been selected to play in the Ryder Cup despite being eligible to participate in the tournament.
Daly struggled to reach his previous heights as the subsequent years rolled by. From 1996 to 2000, his career appeared to be in a dark place as reports of alcohol abuse persisted.
Daly won the European Tour's BMW International Open in 2001 and had his best season on the PGA Tour since 1995, but the turbulence in his career would persist.
He would go on to win the Buick Invitational in 2004 and lose two playoffs in 2005 at the Shell Houston Open and the WGC-American Express Championship. His star then began to fade once more.
After a barren spell which dated back to 2006, Daly launched another minor comeback in late 2014, culminating in winning the Beko Classic in Turkey in December.
In May 2017, Daly won his first tournament linked to the PGA Tour since 2004, triumphing in the Insperity Invitational on the PGA Tour Champions with a score of 14-under-par.
Nevertheless, he could never again reach the heights he scaled in the 1990s when he burst onto the scene with his PGA Championship and British Open wins.
John Daly's personal life
Alcohol problems have often threatened to ruin Daly's career. He reportedly went into rehab in 1993 and was taken into protective custody after being found drunk outside a restaurant in 2008.
Daly reportedly did not see eye to eye with college golf coaches Steve Loy and Bill Woodley due to his alcohol habit and his poor attendance record in class.
But as well as his bad-boy reputation, he's also known for being a talented musician, having written and recorded music as well as releasing two albums.
His first, 'My Life', was released in 2002. His second, 'I Only Know One Way', followed eight years later in 2010. One of his best-known songs is 'All My Ex's Wear Rolexes'.
In July 2019, Daly was on holiday in England when he was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The bite went septic and required emergency surgery.
In September 2020, Daly announced he had recently battled with bladder cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but doctors said there was an 85% chance of relapse.
To reduce the chance of recurrence, Daly pledged to improve his lifestyle.
John Daly's net worth
John Daly has a reported net worth of $2million, having made over $10million in career earnings on the golf course.
He is endorsed by LoudMouth Golf Apparel and owns a golf course design company.
Daly has had a string of problems with marriages.
He has been married at least four times and there have been a number of well-publicized issues within the relationships. Some have been related to alleged physical altercations between Daly and his partners.