Two-time major champion John Daly revealed during a Golf Channel instructional show that he has bladder cancer. Daly said he underwent a procedure to have the cancer removed but was told there is a good chance of recurrence.
“[My urologist] said there’s an 85% chance it comes back,” said Daly, 54, in a clip from an upcoming episode of Golf Channel’s “PGA Tour Champions Learning Center.” “So I’ve got to go back and see him in three months. They will probably have to cut it out again. It’s probably going to come back, and then another three months that you don’t know. You just don’t know.
“Luckily for me they caught it early, but bladder cancer is something. I don’t know all the details. But it doesn’t look like it may go away. We will just see what happens. Maybe there is a miracle.”
Daly withdrew last month from the PGA Tour Champions event at the Charles Schwab Series tournament in Missouri and said he had been experiencing back pain and kidney stones. A longtime fan favorite who won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open at St. Andrews along with three other PGA Tour events, Daly has faced alcoholism and other health issues over the years.
Daly thanked his fans for their support in a tweet Thursday night.
“It’s all still shocking for me but know I’ll do what I have in me to beat this!” Daly wrote. “My whole life I’ve beaten the odds, so it’s NOT time to stop now!”
Daly is still eligible to compete in the PGA Championship and The Open, although he did not play last month’s PGA at Harding Park. He said in the interview that he will attempt to do a better job of managing his health as he deals with the cancer diagnosis.
“I’m cutting way, way back on the Diet Coke and counting minutes before I can have a cigarette. I’m trying to quit smoking,” he said. “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. 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. I’m going to have some fun.
“No matter what happens,” Daly said, “I’m not scared to die or anything. It would have been nice to play the last seven or eight or 13 years of my career a little more healthy. But hey, I’m still working, I’m still living life. I’m still doing the things I need to do.
“I can accept the challenge. I’m not scared of that. I just want my kids to be OK and everyone else in my family.”