The celebration for John Daly began the day he became eligible for the PGA Tour Champions.
Not just because he turned 50, rather the fact he made it to 50.
“You know about that bet I had with Fuzzy, don’t you?” Daly said over the phone last week as he grilled his birthday dinner — pork chops and rice — at Cowboys Golf Club in Dallas. “Fuzzy (Zoeller) said I’d never make it to 50. He said, ‘I’ll give you $150,000 if you make it to 50.’ I told him I’d have to take that bet. I told him I wouldn’t be able to pay him if I was dead. I called him the other day and he said: ‘That’s right. I do remember making that bet.’
“But I’m not going to make him pay,” Daly said. “I told him he could give me a free bottle of his vodka.”
The PGA Tour Champions has been referred to as golf’s greatest mulligan. Daly knows something about that.
“Just being out there, it’s like I have a new job,” he said. “A new life.”
Serious or not, there’s a reason Zoeller made that bet. From the drinking and gambling, four divorces, two trips to alcohol rehab and the parade of demons and doubts in his head, it’s a wonder Daly made it this far.