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John Daly Is Drinking Again

John Daly is drinking and gambling again, not sure where it will lead but offering no regrets for losing an endorsement with Callaway Golf that had been his primary source of income.

Â"It's sad, but I think it's great to be free,Â" Daly told Golf World magazine in this week's issue. Â"Granted, I could go out and lose everything (by) gambling and drinking, but there's no sense in denying it. It's in my blood.Â"

Daly, a recovering alcoholic who has twice been in rehabilitation clinics since his surprising victory in the 1991 PGA Championship, said he ended 26 months of sobriety June 11 after missing the cut in the St. Jude Classic.

Â"I was just feeling down,Â" he told the magazine. Â"I got in my Jeep, went in a store, bought a 12-pack of Miller Lite, and drank it all by the time I got to Dardanelle (Ark.). That's when I relapsed.Â"

Daly's five-year deal with Callaway, signed after he left rehab in April 1997, included a provision that he not drink or gamble. Chairman Ely Callaway offered to send Daly to an addictions specialist nearly two weeks ago. Daly got to the undisclosed clinic and left.

Â"The people were nice,Â" Daly told Golf World. Â"But it just wasn't for me.Â"

Callaway said he had no choice but to drop Daly, who stood to earn about $3 million over the final two years of the contract.

Earlier this year, Daly was working with Callaway officials in Palm Springs when he disappeared. He later said he went to Las Vegas, where Â"I gambled, had a few pops and had a great time.Â"

Daly's gambling has been as notorious as his drinking. Callaway cleaned up about $1.7 million in gambling debts when it signed Daly to a contract. Golf World reported that Daly lost about $500,000 during his gambling spree in Las Vegas.

After his split with Callaway, Daly said he gambled in a riverboat casino in Tunica, Miss., although he says he didn't drink alcohol.

Asked by the magazine why he continued to gamble even though he lost an estimated $12 million from 1993 to 1996, Daly said, Â"I love the action. I just love it.Â"

Daly first went through alcohol rehab at the end of 1992. He won the British Open while sober in 1995, but resumed drinking a year later. He went on a drinking spree again during The Players Championship in 1997, trashed his hotel room and ultimately split with his wife.

Can he avoid that kind of situation this time?

Â"Honestly? Probably not,Â" Daly told Golf World. Â"I want to gamble and I want to have a few drinks now and then. Basically, it (trying to stay sober) had taken over my life, and I was miserable. It's like I've said before, there's no way I'd never drink again.Â"

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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