Nine things that sum up the legend of John Daly

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Daly is one of the game's greatest characters.

You can read our full interview with Daly by Sport360’s Joy Chakravarty in Thursday, May 6’s edition of the newspaper or online at www.sport360.com the same day.

As a teaser to our wide-ranging chat with Daly, we have picked out nine times the golfing eccentric has proved to be just that.

* Moments after winning the 1991 PGA Championship, he gave $30,000 to the family of the fan who tragically died after being hit by lightning during the tournament.

* In 1991, he was the longest hitter on the PGA Tour, averaging 288.9 yards to second-placed Greg Norman (282.3yds). In 1997, he became the first player on the Tour to average above 300yds (302yds), with Tiger Woods being second at 294.8yds.

* He has been suspended five times by the PGA Tour and cited 21 times for not giving his best effort. The Tour doesn’t announce suspension and fines, but in Daly’s case, it was made public because of a legal case.

* Every year, he pitches up outside the Augusta National in his RV and sells merchandise from the Hooters parking lot.

* Daly once estimated his gambling losses over the years to be to the tune of $55 million

* In 2009, he lost 115 pounds after undergoing a lap-band surgery and giving up alcohol

* At the 2007 Honda Classic, he fractured two ribs and separated his right shoulder when trying to stop the shot and hitting behind the ball after a female spectator jumped in front of him and tried to take a picture mid-way through the round.

* After a round on a hot and humid day in a tournament in Malaysia, he told the media: “I counted. I had 36 bottles of water… on the back nine.”

* Daly has had four failed marriages, and is now engaged to Anna Cladakis. The two got engaged last year before the Turkish Airlines Open.

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Tweets of the Week - Golf stars go on Spring Break

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Some of golf's top stars have been letting off steam in the Bahamas.

Rory McIlroy revealed that he was invited on the trip by Fowler but regrettably had to decline the offer – and ultimately was forced to watch how the trip unfolded on social media.

While the legendary Gary Player took a trip down memory lane and posted a picture of his Spring Break safari in South Africa with fellow star Jack Nicklaus in 1965…and wondered why he wasn’t invited on the trip with the Americans!

Here’s the best of the Tweets on social media:

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Joy of Golf: Holiday snaps help bring us all closer to the stars

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Spring breakers: Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth have been on holiday in the Bahamas.

Some critics…well, they just like to criticise. Even if it happens to be four young men – Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas – having fun while holidaying in the Bahamas and recording their moves on social media.

Golf Digest’s Geoff Shackleford felt the ire of players and fans when he wrote the ‘snapchattification’ of the vacation felt like it was ‘promotional’ in nature and ‘childish’.

Luke Donald and Jason Dufner replied on Shackleford’s Twitter account, while Rory McIlroy and Gary Player showed their support with their own posts.

McIlroy, who was invited to join the fun by ring-leader Fowler, instead went on a holiday with his fiancée Erica Stoll, but was apparently left regretting the decision!

On Twitter, he posted a snapshot of Fowler’s text, and wrote: “After seeing all these snapchats over the last few days… Maybe I should have taken @RickieFowler up on the invite!”

And Player posted his own picture of a safari vacation he and Jack Nicklaus went on in 1965, and wondered if he’d get an invite to #SB2k16. He wrote: “#SpringBreak c.1965. @JackNicklaus and I out on safari in South Africa. Good times. How about an invite to #SB2K17?”

My own thoughts on the whole issue: As long as these players are not being childish on the golf course, they have their own life to live. And even if the trip had product placement written all over it, why do we need to bother?

Instead, it portrayed golfers in a different light – it showed they are not starchy-collared and stiff-upper lips type, but fun-loving guys. #SB2k16 really was a good advertisement for golf, if it wants to target the millennials.

Turn the Paige

As for Golf Digest, they do seem to be having a tough month.

The May issue has Paige Spiranac on the cover, and LPGA Tour stars and fans haven’t taken very kindly to it. Considered the No. 1 publication in golf, the magazine has not been very kind to the LPGA Tour players, rarely giving them cover honour.

But to feature Spiranac, known more for her social media exploits than golfing talent, ahead of someone like world No. 1 Lydia Ko, hasn’t gone down well.

Julie Inkster and Stacy Lewis are just a couple of big names who have spoken out and questioned the magazine’s decision. However, one player who seems to be unaffected by the whole thing, is Ko.

She tweeted to Spiranac: “@ PaigeSpiranac you looked absolutely amazing on the cover!”

Lowry’s conundrum

It must have been a very difficult decision for Rory McIlroy to play the Open de France instead of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

The PGA Tour decided to shift the dates of the Bridgestone event two weeks before the Open Championship (usually it is the week before the PGA Championship), because of scheduling issues this year due to the addition of Olympics golf.

That did not go down too well with the European Tour, who had already announced the dates of the 100th Open de France that week. As a result, the European Tour has decided not to sanction the Akron event this year and is giving extra perks for players who play in Paris that week in the form of enhanced Race to Dubai points and it counting as two events in the mandatory number of tournaments members have to play.

Decisions to make: Shane Lowry.

Decisions to make: Shane Lowry.

McIlroy is a past champion at Akron, so the world No. 3 had a difficult choice to make – whether to earn more world ranking and FedEx Cup points there, or support his home Tour – but not as difficult as Ireland’s Shane Lowry. After all, Lowry is the defending champion, and he has also taken up his PGA Tour membership this year.

The pressure is now on him, but the happy-go-lucky Lowry, who just got married, is not thinking as far as July as yet. He said he will do whatever he feel is the right thing to do, closer to the tournament.

Anything you can do, I can…

Last Sunday, Texan journeyman Martin Piller played some outstanding golf to record the best finish of his PGA Tour career – a tied fourth place at the $7 million Valero Texas Open. Unfortunately, the family bragging rights that evening belonged to wife Gerina, who topped Martin and finished tied third at the Swinging Skirts Classic on the PGA Tour.

The family takeaway that evening was a healthy $450,633, but it could have been the most remarkable finish in the history of golf if they had both won. That would have been the first instance in the history of golf of husband and wife winning on recognised tours on the same day.

Quotes of the week

“I think that’s a shame for the game of golf.”

“That’s very, very sad, because I would’ve given anything as a young man to have an opportunity to represent my country and possibly win a gold medal.” – Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player react on top players Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel skipping the Olympics.

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