John Daly – flawed legend, the two are inextricably linked.
John Daly’s sitting at a bar when Tiger Woods walks in…
“Tiger’s there in his workout clothes and I said, ‘Tiger come have a beer with us, man,” Daly recalls.
Woods declined, explaining that he was bound for the gym and one of his ubiquitous workout sessions. Daly persisted, “I go, ‘Man, you don’t need to work out. You need to drink a little bit with us.”
Woods’ answer is the stuff of legend.
“He said, ‘If I had your talent I’d be doing the same thing you’re doing,” Daly says. “I’m looking at him thinking ‘you’re crazy, man.”
The truth is professional golfers still stop when they see John Daly hitting balls, such is his unique ability. It’s a waste of time to talk about his unrealised talent, as with so many naturals he finds his character is an enormous roadblock to maximising his success.
“I’ll never grow up,” Daly concedes when asked the difference between 25-year-old JD and the 50-year-old version. “I’m probably going to end up throwing clubs on the Champions Tour, I’m still gonna be me. There’s no telling what sort of things I can do, but all I know is I’m enjoying life right now and my kids are healthy and things are pretty good.”
Here’s to John Daly, he really is as close to Happy Gilmore as you will ever see. Watching him stride down the fairway with a glass of Diet Coke and ciggie has a certain panache few come close to.