“Long” John Daly is certainly one of the most controversial professional golfers of all time. He smoked like a chimney, gambled like Pete Rose and divorced like Larry King. He won the PGA Championship as the 9th alternate in his rookie season…only gaining entry to the tournament when Nick Price withdrew on short notice and the other eight alternates couldn’t make it to Crooked Stick in time for the tournament. Daly’s personality and his long, powerful swing created a new wave of golf fans. He was basically the early 1990s version of Tiger Woods for a different demographic.

Daly won the 1995 Open Championship but didn’t have many favorable golf related headlines in the next decade. Most stories on Daly were related to his erratic behavior (both on the course and off), gambling debts, failed marriages, etc. Daly has struggled on the PGA Tour for several years, making only 31% of cuts over the past three seasons. With all that being said I believe that 2016 is the year that John Daly makes his triumphant comeback. In approximately nine short months John Daly will be eligible for Champions Tour play and I have to admit I am excited to see how it goes.

With a current average driving distance of 300.4 yards per drive, Daly would be the longest player on the Champions Tour this season. He’s a decent enough putter (0.160 strokes gained putting) that his length off of the tee could make him a serious challenger in some of the tournaments. The average par 72 course on the Champions Tour is approximately 300-400 yards shorter than those played on the PGA Tour. While that doesn’t seem like a huge distance over 18 holes, it should give Daly the opportunity to reach a lot of the par 5s in two and hit a lot more wedges into par 4s. He should be 25-30 yards ahead of the average Champions Tour player off every tee…that’s nothing to scoff at.

Right now the Champions Tour basically consists of weekly battles between Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie and Jeff Maggert. Marco Dawson is currently fourth in Schwab Cup points and he has about half the points as each of the previously mentioned trio. It’s not all that interesting to watch tournaments when only a few guys have a chance of winning. As a fan of professional golf I can only hope that Daly joins the tour and challenges on a weekly basis. If nothing else I’m sure he will entertain off the course with his fun loving and unapologetic attitude. Now if we could only convince Miguel Angel Jimenez to spend more time in the states…

Jay Armour is a Chicago area small business owner who loves to play, watch and talk about golf. He follows the sport religiously and plays it poorly. He thinks fantasy golf is giving him ulcers and is an unapologetic Tiger Woods fan.