Golfer John Daly Has Legendary Thirst for Diet Coke, Cut Back from 28 Cans a Day

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterApril 7, 2014

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Golfer John Daly hasn't quite kicked the sauce; and by sauce, we mean Diet Coke. 

The Guardian's Ewan Murray (h/t The Big Lead) spoke with Daly recently, garnering some insight into one of golf's most colorful characters. 

From talking about the Masters—which he will attend regardless of whether he is competing—to his lap-band surgery and sobriety, it's a remarkable look at one of sport's most flamboyant personalities. 

However, The Big Lead’s Mike Cardillo spotted the most startling aspect, and it deals with Daly's outrageous thirst for Diet Coke. 

Here is what Murray found: 

He still smokes – to the tune of 40-a-day – but his infamous Diet Coke fondness has been toned down a little. "I still drink that but not nearly as much as I used to," he explains.

"The band won't allow me to drink as many. If I don't have ice, I can't drink it. I can't have it straight because of the carbonation. I have to drink it slowly and not out of a can, I need some ice. I used to have 26-28 cans a day. Now I have 10-12 at the most."

Oh, well, a 12-pack of Diet Coke a day is completely sensible. 

DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 23:  John Daly of the USA in action during the second round of the Comercial Bank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on January 23, 2014 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

First off, we don't even want to fathom how one would store the kind of pallets needed to supply a near-30-can-a-day habit. Daly must have cleared out Costco weekly to make sure his artificially sweetened fix was satisfied on a daily basis. 

Second, we don't really think you can use the term "at the most" when you are polishing off a 12-pack of something. You can't go up to your spouse and say, "Don't worry, because I had, like, 12 margaritas throughout the day, at the most."

You aren't making the number any smaller, so stick out your chest and declare with an attitude, "You are damn right I had 12 Diet Cokes, and I will do it again tomorrow."

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Now, as most know, sticking a "Diet" in front of "Coke" doesn't suddenly make this a water substitute. There are some drawbacks listed by websites like TODAY.com, Health.com and WebMD. 

Health.com's Mary Squillace compiled a list of reasons to cut back on diet soft drinks. Among them: "Diet soda is calorie-free, but it won't necessarily help you lose weight. Researchers from the University of Texas found that over the course of about a decade, diet soda drinkers had a 70% greater increase in waist circumference compared with non-drinkers."

Yeah, but drinking copious amounts of the stuff can also garner instant Internet fame, so decide how you want to be remembered and pop that can and hear the sweet fizz of carbonated stardom. 

Really, this is all just an interesting side note on an altogether great story of a golfer who is six years sober and down more than a few sizes on his waistline thanks to lap-band surgery. 

While he has whittled down a legendary thirst for Diet Coke from the obscene level of 28 cans a day to the merely absurd of 10, we don't think Daly is kicking the sweet sauce anytime soon—nor should he. 

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 30:  John Daly of the USA looks on during the first round of the 2014 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club on January 30, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Francois N
Francois Nel/Getty Images

Murray recounts a golfer who led quite the tumultuous life, one that included losing millions because of gambling and seeing golf coach Butch Harmon departing before stating, "The most important thing in his life is getting drunk."

Daly has come a long way; however, as he states, he has trouble hitting the fairway with consistency and can't quite imbibe as much Diet Coke as he used to. His body has been through the rigors of the hard life as well as surgery. 

In some sense, Daly is a far different man than when he started. However, he is still a vibrant personality wearing loud clothing who enjoys sipping on his one vice ever so slightly. In fact, not much of what makes Daly so compelling has changed. 

We rather like this iteration, and we will go ahead and let the man have his meager 12 Diet Cokes. 

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