It has been said that there are only four things worth seeing in modern day golf. The first is the Augusta National course, the home of the US Masters. Second is the greatest player in the modern game, Tiger Woods, while the third is living legend Arnold Palmer. And the fourth? Well, the fourth is the awesome, killer swing of John Patrick Daly.
Rewind to August 1991 and the USPGA Championship at Crooked Stick, Indianapolis. Having driven through the night to get to the course, 25-year-old rookie pro John Daly tees off as an eleventh hour replacement for Nick Price and without so much as a practice round, blasts his way to a spectacular and entirely unexpected victory.
That triumph, achieved with a combination of brutal ball striking and a rare subtlety should have signalled the start of the big time for Daly. Instead, it prompted a shocking descent into alcoholism, gambling addiction and more incidents and accidents than most people would encounter in one maybe two lifetimes.
Since Crooked Stick, Daly has been in rehab twice, fought with fans, clocked up three ex-wives and blown $10 million on a three-year gambling spree. He has trashed his house, wrecked hotel rooms and spurned multi-million dollar sponsorship deals rather than give up drinking. He has witnessed his world ranking plummet to 578 and seen his game deteriorate to the point where hes broken down in tears on the course. Yet despite his trials and tribulations, John Daly remains the biggest draw in the game. His no-nonsense grip it and rip it philosophy has struck a chord with golf fans the world over and his length off the tee is truly the stuff of legend.