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John Daly reveals his secret to success: fat

SOUTHPORT, England (July 15, 1998 12:33 p.m. EDT

Former Open champion John Daly has discovered the secret of consistent ball striking - getting fat. Since giving up drinking the "Wild Thing" has seen his weight balloon.

"I was up to 247 pounds. I am probably about 220 now," admitted Daly.

But it has not affected his playing.

"Actually it has helped because my right arm hugs this fat belly right here and it never gets out of place now.

"When I lose weight it flies all over the place. I have been hitting the ball really good. I haven't been tired like I thought I would being this heavy," said Daly.

Revealing his diet, Daly admitted he ate burgers, pizza, steak and all the chocolate he could get his hands on.

"Europe has the greatest chocolate in the world, man, you know," he enthused.

But Daly accepts he has to cut down.

"I still have the cravings for the sugar. If you are an alcoholic like I am you crave sugar when you quit drinking because alcohol turns into sugar in your body and that's what you crave when you stop," he said.

"Physically I'm overweight and out of shape because all I want to do is eat. That has been the tough thing. You go from one addiction to another and mine seems to be food. Hopefully it will change in a few years of sobriety," he added.

But the American ruled out his chances of repeating his success at St. Andrews three years ago.

"This course is so hard. Here if you miss the fairway you are dead. I had a better chance at St. Andrews. At St. Andrews I hit a driver on a lot of the holes. Here you can't do it," he explained.