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EXCERPT | July 31, 1995
John Daly scored a British Open upset at St. Andrews
When Daly wasn't using his irons to drive par-4s, as well as to reach the greens of par-5s with his second shots, he was stopping at concession stands between holes to fill up on junk food. Rick Reilly reported for SI.
Barkeep, pour us another giant Slurpee and toss us half a dozen Ding Dongs. Lend us a Marlboro and six or so of them Advil. Fill up that ol' claret jug with Diet Coke, and let's everybody shave each other's heads. We need to celebrate John Daly--style because the Kid from the Wrong Side of the Country Club just went and won himself a British Open at the Home of Golf is all.
So, what kind of odds would you have gotten that Daly would win a four-hole playoff after the looniest episode ever witnessed at the Royal and Annuitied Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, where Costantino Rocca followed up the most famous chili dip in golf history with a purely redeeming 65-foot putt from the Valley of Sin? Who would sink their hard-earned pounds on a guy dressed like a Sinclair blow-up dinosaur, a guy with serial migraines, 20 pounds too much gut, the chocolate d.t.'s, a pack-a-round habit, two ex-wives and one non-ex, two PGA Tour suspensions, two dead-last British Open finishes in his first three tries and an addiction to swinging the driver from his spikes even in winds you wouldn't leave your cat out in?
Actually, those odds were 66--1 with any British bookie before the week started. Would've been a nice bet, because in a weird, wonderful way it had seemed like Daly's week all along. "I don't know," he kept saying. "There's just something about this golf course I love."
Saying, "You can't get this fat boy into a suit," Daly skipped the dinner held in his honor afterward. The British Open was his last major victory.
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Photograph by JACQUELINE DUVOISIN
KING OF SWING A proponent of the grip-it-and-rip-it school, Daly was ranked 187th on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy when the tournament began, but he and his driver found the wide fairways at St. Andrews quite forgiving, despite the stiff wind that swirled all weekend.
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (COOLEY)
COURTESY OF MGM (MAYS)
JOHN BIEVER (HENRY)
GREG NELSON (BHULLAR)
JOHN BIEVER (LOCKER)
ANDY KROPA/AP (JEAN)
MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP (REFS)