Professional golfer John Daly announced he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, and says he’s hoping for a “miracle” while he makes lifestyle adjustments.
Daly, who is known for his colorful personality, divulged the stunning news during an interview with the Golf Channel published Thursday.
The two-time major winner said he was visiting a doctor due to issues with kidney stones and back pain when the cancer was discovered.
The power hitter told the network his doctor informed him, “[I]t doesn’t look like any stones are in there. But unfortunately, you have bladder cancer.”
“After I did the CT [scan] I was fixing to sip on my Diet Coke I got from McDonald’s and he said, ‘Don’t drink anything. We have to get you back in here and get this cancer out of you,'” Daly recalled.
Daly said the cancer was successfully removed, but added he was told there is an 85 percent chance the cancer will return.
In that event, Daly said he will require more surgery.
“Luckily for me they caught it early, but bladder cancer is something that I don’t know all the details,” Daly said. “But it doesn’t look like it may go away.”
The 54-year-old University of Arkansas alum isn’t ready to give up hope.
“We will just see what happens,” Daly said. “Maybe there’s a miracle.”
The golfer, who is also known to have some unhealthy habits, will focus on trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.
“I’m cutting way, way back on the Diet Coke and counting minutes before I can have a cigarette,” he said. “I’m trying to quit smoking.”
Daly added, “The doctors aren’t saying it’s too late. Unfortunately, it’s a cancer that keeps coming back. But I’m going to listen to them, and I’m going to try and quit smoking.”
But Daly said he intends to live his life without fear.
“If it comes back, it comes back. Six months to a year, if it doesn’t go away, I’m going to live my life,” he said.
“I’m going to have some fun,” Daly said. “Well you know what, I always tell people I’ve lived one hell of a life. No matter what happens, I’m not scared to die or anything.”
“I just want my kids to be OK and everyone else in my family.”
Daly posted a tweet Thursday night thanking his fans for their support.
“Hey All, thank you all so much for all the love, texts, msgs & support thru this! 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! Ready for 2020 to be fkn over!” he tweeted.
Hey All, thank you all so much for all the love, texts, msgs & support thru this! 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! Ready for 2020 to be fkn over! #gripitandripityall
— John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly) September 11, 2020
Daly turned pro in 1987 and won the 1991 PGA Championship. He later won the Open Championship in 1995.
Daly has experienced ups and downs on and off the course since then, but his candor has always endeared him to fans.
He previously described his struggles with alcoholism and binge drinking in an interview with journalist Graham Bensinger.
“I wasn’t drinking on tour, but there were some times on tour that I didn’t sober up until about the 13th hole,” he said in 2016.
“I could drink probably a case to 35 beers easily in a day,” the golfer added.
Also in 2016, Daly commented on those ups and downs in an interview with USA Today.
“You almost have to laugh about some of the stuff, because if I live and dwell on it, I’m going to be a miserable guy,” he said. “I can’t dwell on everything that has been bad. I still believe 65 or 70 percent of it has been good.
“I think that’s why God created everybody different. If we were all the same, we’d all be bored,” Daly added.
At last year’s PGA Championship in Farmingdale, New York, Daly was the first player ever permitted to use a golf cart after suffering issues related to osteoarthritis.
ESPN reported Daly drove down the right side of the fairway at one point during the tournament, stopped and lit a cigarette.
He later told ESPN, “[Using a cart is] very awkward.”
“It’s to a point where it’s almost embarrassing. But I love the PGA, and I’m a past champion. There’s no way I could walk it. But I feel like I belong to play since I’m a past champion, and I just feel obligated. I really want to play,” Daly said.
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