John Daly entertained reporters this morning at an early morning news conference in Australia, where was getting in a practice round at the Hyatt Regency Golf Club, looking very slim. He has lost 115 pounds since undergoing adjustable gastric band surgery in February 2009.
The golfer states that his highest weight was between 280 and 300 pounds.
What encouraged him to change his eating and drinking habits to lose the weight? John Daly, known for being a golfing rebel, was suspended from the PGA tour for six months in December 2008. As part of an effort to get his life back in order, he underwent adjustable gastric band surgery, commonly called Lap-Band surgery after the first US FDA-approved device made by Allergan.
The adjustable gastric band is a silicone ring that is surgically put around the top of the stomach, forming a gastric “pouch”. Saline is injected through a port that is placed under the skin and fat tissue which constricts small balloons inside the band. The restriction provides for greater satiety with less food, resulting in a caloric deficit and weight loss.
Patients are encouraged to consume small, but nutrient dense meals after surgery. Sugar and fat are restricted to reduce calories. A common issue, however, is that foods must be soft or chewed very well to prevent a blockage at the site of the band. Unlike with Gastric Bypass, alcohol is not limited post-band, however it is highly discouraged because of its caloric content. Back in June, John Daly told ESPN reporters that he sips on beer once in a while, but hasn’t been drinking much since the surgery.
Daly has since returned to the European Tour, and has had some success. However, his swing coach feels that the power he once had for long drives is no longer there because of muscle mass loss, common in patients with a rapid weight loss. This past week, he finished tied for 28th at the Australian Open.
John Daly, who is 43 years old, joked with the crowd about his plans to write a book about his life that will be made into a movie. The most recent book about him is “John Daly, My Life In and Out of the Rough” was published in 2006.
When asked who he would like to portray him, he stated, “I just saw Matt Damon, how he swung a golf club, and I thought if I ever made a movie, I want him to be me. The tough part is who would play me at 290 pounds. Now Kevin James, he’s my bud, but he’d be good.”
Note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Mr. Daly had the Endo-Ethicon REALIZE gastric band. This has been corrected, as the golfer has the Allergan LAP-BAND placed for weight loss. The writer apologizes for the confusion this may have caused.