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First Published: February 23, 2004Written by: Andy Smith

John Daly

Over the last couple of weeks, John Daly has returned to the sort of form which saw him win majors in the 1990s. This week we take a brief look at the career of this ever-popular golf personality.


1995 at St. Andrews - Getty Images

Born in 1966, John Daly turned professional at the age of 21. After playing on the Nationwide Tour in 1990 and winning the Utah Classic, he joined the PGA Tour in 1991, when he was named Tour Rookie of the year.  In 1991 he won the PGA Championship, 3 shots clear of the field, after starting as the final alternate and not even having a practice round. He followed up the next year by winning the BC Open by 6 shots. His third Tour victory came in 1994 at the BellSouth Classic.
In 1995 he won his second major when taking the British Open at St. Andrews, winning a playoff with Constantino Rocca by 4 strokes. At that time, he was only the fourth American since World War II to win two majors before his 30th birthday, keeping company with Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller. In 1998 Daly joined Mark O'Meara and Tiger Woods to represent the U.S. in the Dunhill Cup, where he was unbeaten in four matches.


Nissan Open 2004 - Getty Images


Buick Invitational 2004 - Getty Images

In 2001 he had return to form, earning over $800,000 and finishing the year in the Top 50 World Rankings, having had four top tens and winning the BMW International Open. From the very early days, the one thing that everybody (even non-golfers) knew about John Daly was that he was a big hitter and by 2002 he had won the Driving Distance category for the 11th time, which was more category wins than anyone in history. His average driving distance that year was 306.8 yards per drive. No mean feat.
In 2003, he tied 7th at the Shell Houston Open and went on to win the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational and the Korean Open.

And 2004, well, it's great to see John Daly really  returning to form this year. Four out of four cuts made, back to back top tens (Buick Invitational 1st, Nissan Open 4th), 7th in the World Money List ($1,133,646) and climbing the World Golf Rankings once again, currently at #64. It's only February and already 2004 is a big year. I know I'm not alone in wishing John continued success for this and many more years to come.


Golfing Weekly's First Cover Photo
Getty Images

 

 

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