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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 11:47 UK

Slimline Daly dazzles in Spain

John Daly before and after his surgery
'Wild Thing' John Daly before and after his surgery

One of sport's most colourful characters is hoping that his new look heralds a change in form.

American golfer John Daly is a shadow of the man he was earlier this year after losing almost four stone in weight, thanks to lap-band stomach surgery.

It is the latest instalment in the 43-year-old's controversial career which has included a string of drink-related incidents, a USPGA ban, gambling problems, four wives as well as two majors - the 1991 USPGA Championship and 1995 Open Championship.

Daly tipped the scales at 20st earlier this year, but the surgery and a change in lifestyle has allowed him to lose weight.

He unveiled his more slimline shape at this week's Spanish Open in Girona, showing off in a pair of eye-catching orange, pink and white harlequin-style trousers.

To win again is the most important thing to me, not what people think about me

John Daly

Daly is serving a six-month ban from the PGA Tour for bringing the tour into disrepute after a number of incidents, the latest of which saw him found him in a seemingly drunken state outside a North Carolina restaurant last year.

Despite the litany of problems, Daly remains one of the most popular figures in the sport and at this year's Masters at Augusta he wasn't too far away from the action after setting up a stall selling memorabilia in the car park opposite.

But the man dubbed 'Wild Thing' early in his career is hoping that the ban will help to kick-start his career which has seen him slip down the rankings to 788th in the world.

"I've been able to work on my game. I had nine hours' putting one day and two days hitting a lot of balls, for instance. I've actually enjoyed the time off. I was going nowhere," he said.

Daly has not held a full US Tour card since 2006 and a year ago coach Butch Harmon said he was not working with him anymore because "the most important thing in his life is getting drunk".


Rick Smith, who used to be Phil Mickelson's coach, is now with Daly and there has been a change in his personal life too.

Daly described it as "refreshing to have a positive coach along with a girlfriend to keep on motivating me and keeping a positive outlook on life".

"I don't have any points to prove to anyone," added Daly, who will compete in several European Tour events before his United States ban ends in June.

"I'm doing this for myself. I want the consistency I've not had since 2004. To win again is the most important thing to me, not what people think about me."

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see also
Daly admits PGA Tour suspension
01 Jan 09 |  Golf
Raging Daly hurls camera at tree
11 Dec 08 |  Golf
Daly rejects Woods's health tips
15 Aug 07 |  Golf
My wife tried to stab me - Daly
08 Jun 07 |  Golf
Daly withdraws from Munich event
31 Aug 06 |  Golf
Daly admits huge gambling losses
02 May 06 |  Golf
Woods pips Daly in play-off drama
09 Oct 05 |  Golf
Daly blames media for snub
26 Aug 04 |  Golf

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