It was an emotional week for John Daly and his family, especially with Daly’s son, Little John, ending with a victory. Daly II won the International Junior Golf Tour’s Fall Kickoff event at Bishops Gate Golf Academy in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, on Sunday.
The 16-year-old Class of 2021 golfer birdied his final hole to shoot 4-under 68 and finish the 54-hole tournament at 12 under, a shot clear of Filip Jakubcik. The triumph came just days after the 54-year-old Daly publicly revealed that he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer and that he underwent a procedure last month to remove the cancer.
Daly added that doctors told him there was an “85% chance it comes back”. Daly was informed of Little John’s win after he tied for 12th at the Sanford International on the PGA Tour Champions. “That’s awesome,” Daly said.
“I’m so proud of him. He’s been playing really good, too, and it’s great for him to get a win”. Daly senior won five times during his PGA Tour career, including the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 Open, and added a PGA Tour Champions win in 2017.
He has battled health issues throughout his career, including a high-profile battle with alcohol and an arthritic knee condition. Daly explained he had been battling kidney stones and back pain in recent weeks. This was the reason for his withdrawal from last month's Charles Schwab Series event in Missouri after two rounds.
After consulting with doctors it was determined that the kidney stones had passed and that he now faced a more unnerving condition.
Worse than he thought
"They said it doesn't look like any stones are in there. But unfortunately, you have bladder cancer.
After I did the CT I was fixing to sip on my Diet Coke and he said, 'Don't drink anything. We have to get you back in here and get this cancer out of you,'" Daly explained. The golfer then underwent a procedure to remove the cancer.
Doctors believed it successful. However, according to Daly, there is a strong possibility of recurrence with his form of cancer, which will require regular checkups in the near future. "He said there's an 85 percent chance it comes back.
So, I've got to go back and see him in three months. They will probably have to cut it out again," he said. "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 that 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's a miracle." Daly appreciated all the support he has been getting in a tweet saying “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”.
Daly plans to change his lifestyle habits to increase his odds of keeping the disease at bay. "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," Daly 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 gonna have some fun." "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," Daly said. "It would have been nice to play the last seven or eight or 13 years of my career a little healthier.
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."