PGA pro and two-time major championship John Daly shared some sad news Thursday, announcing doctors have diagnosed him with bladder cancer. One of the most colorful personalities in golf, Daly already underwent surgery, though the 54-year-old said he expects the cancer to return.
“There's an 85% chance it comes back,” Daly revealed (via ESPN’s Bob Harig) in an upcoming episode of “PGA Tour Champions Learning Center” on Golf Channel. “They will probably have to cut it out again.”
Daly, who has struggled with a variety of health issues throughout his career including diabetes and alcoholism, would be the first to admit he hasn’t taken good care of himself. “I'm going to try and quit smoking. If it comes back, it comes back,” said Daly who, in addition to his smoking habit, is also well-known for his prolific soda intake. “Six months to a year, if it doesn't go away, I'm going to live my life. I'm going to have some fun.”
An Arkansas native known for his flamboyant outfits and enormous drives, Daly broke onto the scene in emphatic fashion in 1991, scoring his first tour victory with a stunning upset at the PGA Championship. He added to his trophy collection at the 1995 British Open, capturing his second major by winning a four-hole playoff at legendary St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Daly hasn’t competed as frequently in recent years, only appearing sporadically on the Champions Tour (reserved for players 50 or older) and at majors. By virtue of his past victories at the British Open and PGA Championship, Daly remains eligible for those tournaments.
“I’m not scared to die or anything,” said Daly, who withdrew from last month’s Charles Schwab Series at Ozark National (won by Phil Mickelson), citing kidney stones and persistent back pain. “I can accept the challenge. I'm not scared of that. I just want my kids to be okay and everyone else in my family.''
Daly also addressed his health on Twitter, thanking his family and friends for helping him through this difficult time. “It’s all still shocking for me but know I’ll do what I have in me to beat this! My whole life I’ve beaten the odds, so it’s NOT time to stop now!”