He's got his own Web site, and the PGA Tour star registers about 2.4 million hits on Google, but how famous is John Daly?
Daly, 44, first became famous after his out-of-nowhere runaway victory at the 1991 PGA Championship, one of golf's four major tournaments. The mullet- and mustache-donning Daly was an alternate into the field that week. Since then, he's won a few PGA events, including the 1995 British Open, but he's gained most his attention with off-the-course behavior, including a long battle with alcoholism, gambling, volatile failed marriages and an arrest that got him suspended temporarily from the PGA Tour. All this is why John Daly is famous–but infamous may be a better tag line.
Daly once told a reporter he drank a fifth of Jack Daniels every day the year he was 23. When he won the 1991 PGA, Daly supposedly had whiskey in his golf bag and has said he doesn't even remember much of that win. He was 25. The victory instantly made John Daly famous, and his drinking and off the course behavior gained him more worldwide attention than his play on the golf course.
He has checked himself into various alcohol rehabs, been treated for gambling problems, alleged to have been stabbed by an ex-wife, gained dozens of pounds, lost dozens of pounds, arrested drunk and passed out behind a Hooters in North Carolina. He's lost sponsors, gained others. Between all the roller coaster of what is the life that's made John Daly famous, he's managed to win a few golf tournaments along the way, and that, all rolled into one, is what makes John Daly famous. Daly has recently shed about 100 pounds after he had surgery on his stomach to reduce its size.
Daly's golf swing, which goes well beyond parallel, also makes him famous. It's unconventional, but the swing helps him launch the ball to incredible distances, helping him get his famous nickname "Long John."
Daly's number of Google hits of 2.4 million is more than Phil Mickelson, who has 2.2 million hits on the popular search engine. All this pales in comparison to Tiger Woods, who registers about 30 million. Still John Daly is famous.