Oh, John Daly. The guy can be called a lot of things, and fan or not, you have to credit him for his honesty. When the Charlotte Observer‘s Ron Green Jr. asked Daly what he’s learned about himself through the years at Rock Barn Golf and Spa for a book signing, Daly admitted:
“That I was happy when I was a miserable drunk. I played better when I was drunk,” he said.
Daly paused, smiled half a smile and gently shook his head.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Sometimes you point your finger at yourself. You can only point your finger at yourself so many times. You look back at yourself and write the pros and cons of your life and the pros outweigh the cons.
“I look at myself and I’m not that bad a guy. I always thought I was the reason the divorces came. I look back and it takes two to do that. It wasn’t all my fault. I played a part in it but I can’t keep blaming myself for everything.”
At times I find Daly endearing, and at others, exasperating. I mean, I wish I were at the ’95 Open when he won at St. Andrews and ran around the 18th fairway parading around the Claret Jug and even letting the fans hoist it. (My friend and colleague Paul Mahoney’s account of it this past July was simply priceless.)
Daly became a hero to the common man and he’s still regarded as such to some. He says he can’t blame himself for everything, but he can move on. There’s also the option of becoming a drunk again.