The US American John Daly (* April 28, 1966 in Carmichael, California) is certainly a bird of paradise in professional golf.
He has won two majors so far and is known for his exceptionally long tee shots, hence his nickname "Long John". Because of his unconventional playing style and lifestyle, he is one of the most popular golfers in the USA.
Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 in Crooked Stick as well as the Open Championship in 1995 in St Andrews, Scotland, besides, among other things, the BMW International Open in 2001 in Munich Nord-Eichenried with a new course record, and most recently in early 2004 in Torrey Pines the Buick Invitational in a playoff against Chris Riley. Since 2016, he has predominantly played the PGA Tour Champions.
In his first major appearance, he drank beer from a paper cup and chain smoked. Since that appearance, he has been considered golf's enfant terrible. Daly is addicted to alcohol and has undergone several rehabs. He is also addicted to gambling. According to his own information, he has gambled away 50 to 60 million US dollars so far.
Daly is known in the US for his looks and attitude outside the country club, his exceptionally long backswing, the inconsistency of his game (with some exceptional performances and some controversial incidents) and his personal life.
Daly has a fluid golf swing that he taught himself and was built for raw power and distance.
Daly brings his golf club back much farther than parallel on his backswing by extremely curving his arms and shoulders, which creates very fast clubhead speed on his downswing.
However, Daly's golf swing has contributed to his inconsistent performance during golf tournaments, as near-perfect timing is required to properly execute such a powerful golf swing.
His two greatest achievements on the course are his "zero-against-heroes" victory at the 1991 PGA Championship and his playoff victory over Costantino Rocca at the 1995 Open Championship.
In addition to his victories on U.S. soil, Daly has won accredited professional events in South Africa, Swaziland, Scotland, Germany, South Korea, Turkey and Canada.
According to official performance statistics kept since 1980, in 1997 Daly became the first PGA Tour player to average more than 300 yards per drive over a full season. He did so every year from 1999 to 2008, and he was the only player to do so until 2003.
Daly's last PGA Tour victory came in 2004 in San Diego, which earned him a two-year playing exemption. After 2006, Daly's career stalled and he had trouble cutting back on his habits and staying on the tour.
He earned PGA Tour entries primarily through his former champion status and numerous sponsor invitations. Daly joined the PGA Tour Champions Circuit in 2016 and won the Insperity Invitational in 2017.
Daly is the only man from Europe or the United States to have won two major golf championships but not been selected for the Ryder Cup since the event began in 1927.
Daly has been successful in several ventures. He is endorsed by LoudMouth Golf Apparel and owns a golf course design company. In addition, Daly has written and recorded music and released two music albums.
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