He burst onto the scene with his victory in the 1991 PGA Championship after barely getting in the tournament as the ninth alternate and driving all night to get to the course. The legend grew. He won the '92 B.C. Open, the '94 BellSouth Classic, then another major at the '95 British Open.
But all of Long John's on-course fireworks were no match for his tumultuous personal life, the binge-drinking, revolving-door rehab assignments and a dizzying game of matrimonial musical chairs that could stump an auditor. Does even Daly himself know whether he's on wife No. four or five? For the record, Sherrie Miller Daly is his fourth wife. He has four kids. According to his recent memoir, "My Life In and Out of the Rough," he's lost around $50 million gambling. Or $60 million. It's hard to say, really. Doesn't ShotLink keep track of that stuff?
Daly may be nowhere in the Ranking, but no one will ever sniff his Tour records for wine (he has his own label); women (he accused his wife of attacking him with a steak knife in June); and song (his debut album featured a number called "All My Exes Wear Rolexes").
Are Daly's terrible dry spells on the course the result of his inability to dry out? Is all the gambling in the casinos the reason why his career's gone bust? He doesn't think so. He cites injuries and rotten luck.
"It's just, there hasn't been a lot of bad, bad golf shots," Daly said of his dip in form, which began when he plummeted to 193rd on the money list in 2006. "It's just been a couple of bad breaks here, a couple missed five-, six-footers that [when they go in] keep you going. That's really all it's been."
Daly could barely remember the specifics of his round Thursday, probably because he doesn't remember the course very well, having played it only once in the last 13 years. He hit 6 of 14 fairways, which is not very good and made it all the more remarkable that he found 14 greens in regulation. He took 30 putts but only 12 while shooting a front-nine 32.
What will become of John Daly? He was five-under through his first 11 holes at the British Open at Carnoustie last month but imploded with what looked like a postal code over the next five: 6-3-8-5-4. He shot 74 and slipped to a 76 the next day to miss the cut.
Maybe Daly will disappear from this PGA just like he disappeared at Carnoustie. Maybe his unusual preparation won't catch on, won't inspire Phil and Tiger to pull an all-nighter at a Vegas baccarat table before next summer's U.S. Open in San Diego.
Then again, maybe Daly sticks around this time. After all, the last time he blew off the practice rounds was at the 1991 PGA Championship.