Sometimes, it’s easy to forget all the great golf that John Daly has given us. From his Cinderella run during the 1991 PGA Championship to winning comeback player year in 2004. Daly has always been a bit of a mystery and that along with his off-course exploits (giving a shirtless interview, etc.) has made him lovable.
In honor of Long John’s birthday, we take a look at 10 of his unforgettable moments.
Driver Off The Face
— Vertical Groove Golf (@vertgolf) January 24, 2017
There are a few things that are guaranteed in this world besides death, taxes, and John Daly hitting golf balls out of somebody’s mouth. Long John was up to his usual antics where he and Loudmouth Golf CEO Larry Jackson decided to pull off the terrifying stunt. As a reminder, Loudmouth is one of Daly’s main sponsors so bashing the CEO in the face probably wouldn’t bode too well down the road. With a cigarette pressed firmly between his lips, Daly uncorked one of his patented monster drives (with his new Vertical Groove driver) like he’s been doing it his whole life, leaving Jackson unscathed.
1991 PGA Championship
Daly’s breakout performance may also be his best. In 1991 at Crooked Stick, he epitomized the term “Cinderella story” with his win at the PGA Championship. Daly made just his third start in a major after Nick Price dropped out to be with his wife, who was about to give birth. Daly ran with the opportunity, winning his first tournament and his first major by three strokes. In the process, a hero was created, and his style and power drew more and more people to the game of golf.
2015 PGA Championship
Unable to get it into as many tournaments in recent years, Daly’s star never dimmed. Only able to gain entry into nine PGA Tour events in 2015 — where he missed the cut seven times — the likable two-time major winner showed up at Whistling Straits to play in the 97th PGA Championship. An opening-round 73 showed glimpses of the Daly we had come to know and love, but a Friday 82 left us with the moment that we’ll always link with Long John and Whistling Straits.
1995 Open Championship
Four years after his surprise triumph at the ’91 PGA Championship, Daly collected major victory No. 2 in a similar fashion at the Open Championship. Daly wasn’t exactly a favorite going into the tournament, but he played well all week, setting the stage for a final-round bout with Costantino Rocca. Despite Rocca’s heroic efforts to get into a playoff, it was all Daly in extra holes as he pulled away and won by four. It was Daly’s fourth win on tour and his last until 2004.
Pro-Am Jam Session
— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) December 5, 2016
If you needed another reason why John Daly is the absolute best, he goes and does something like this. During a pro-am, a gentleman in a golf cart lured the two-time major winner away from the tee when he busted out a guitar and started playing a rendition of Daly’s country song, “Hit It Hard.” Long John wasted no time to get in on the action. After a verse and the chorus, Daly essentially drops the mic as only he can by bombing a drive with a cigarette in his mouth. Legend.
2004 Buick Invitational
Coming into the Buick Invitational in San Diego, Daly wasn’t really on anyone’s radar. Having gone winless since his triumph at the 1995 Open Championship and having struggled with his game, weight and off-course issues in the time since no one could have predicted that he’d win that week or ever again. Daly played like he was a decade younger and went on to claim his fifth win on the PGA Tour, setting the stage for an impressive comeback season (skip to 1:35 to view Daly’s highlights.)
The Time Daly Drank Mid-Round During PGA Tour Event
We’ve always known John Daly enjoys an alcoholic beverage, or several, on occasion, so this news shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. During ESPN’s highly-anticipated 30 for 30 film starring the two-time major winner, Daly openly admitted that he drank during a PGA Tour round. Long John starts off by stating he’s never consumed alcohol on the golf course during a PGA Tour event but does mention he’s shown up to rounds hungover or that he “might’ve been still drunk,” which was expected. Then, like the showman he is, he drops the fact he did indeed throw back a few beers mid-round one time during the L.A. Open.
— Myrtle Beach Golf (@MB_GolfHoliday) April 10, 2017
John Daly participated in Celebrity Pro-Am after the 2017 Masters and did what he does best. He hit a drive barefoot off a beer can while smoking a cigarette; the classic Daly trifecta. Did you expect anything different? Sure the shot is impressive, but it takes a true veteran to have the presence of mind to react that quickly to save his horizontal, foaming beer. And like the legend that he is, Long John chugged the entire thing, finally handing it off to a “patron” upon completion.
2004 Comeback Player of the Year
After his win at the 2004 Buick Invitational, Daly stayed hot for the rest of the year. He collected a runner-up, eight top-1o finishes and earned more than $2 million on the course. For his efforts, Daly won the Comeback Player of the Year and earned a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
No Shirt, No Problem
One of Daly’s greatest triumphs has got to be this shirtless interview he gave back in 2008 while recovering from surgery. With a cigarette in his mouth and no shoes on his feet, Long John put on a show as only he can.