Daly: 'I'm doing this for myself'

Updated: April 29, 2009, 1:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

GIRONA, Spain -- Two-time major winner John Daly's latest bid to resurrect his career is for his own benefit and not to prove his detractors wrong, the American said on Wednesday.

Daly, 43, is rehabilitating by losing weight and trying to give up a diet and lifestyle that saw him balloon to nearly 280 pounds less than three months ago.

John Daly
Warren Little/Getty ImagesJohn Daly, seen cutting into his birthday cake on Wednesday, says he's slimming down and working on his game.

A surgical procedure has enabled him to slim down to 220 lbs, around the weight he was when he won the 1991 U.S. PGA Championship and 1995 British Open.

A desire to get his major-winning form back after being banned from playing on the PGA Tour for six months last November for bringing the tour into disrepute has been the driving force behind his weight loss, Daly said.

"I don't have any points to prove to anyone," Daly, who has committed to several European Tour events before his American ban ends in June, told reporters at the Spanish Open.

"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."

Daly's U.S. tour ban came after he spent a night in jail after being found drunk outside a bar in North Carolina. It was the last of a litany of indiscretions including playing the last seven holes of a tournament with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden as his caddy, appearing shirtless in a televised interview and hitting balls off a beer-bottle top in pro-ams.

He called his night in jail "a case of mistaken identity" but decided to "stand up for a couple of buddies" and turn the ban into a positive.

"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."

Dubbed the "Wild Thing" early in his career, Daly is prepared to handle his latest comeback attempt quietly.

"I don't expect too much this week, I can't force it," he said. "The only guy who can do that is Tiger [Woods]."

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.