Daly says weight loss affects putting

Golf star John Daly said Tuesday that, while beneficial for his health, his dramatic weight loss has had a detrimental effect on his putting.

The 44-year-old will compete at this week’s Hong Kong Open having lost about 126 pounds over the past 18 months.

The two-time major champion tipped the scales at almost 322 pounds last year but, after having a gastric band fitted in February 2009, has seen his weight plummet and will tee it up at Fanling Golf Club at about 196 pounds.

While conceding the transformation has undoubtedly been a positive one for his well-being, Daly said there were aspects of his cuddlier former self that he misses.

"The biggest problem has been the putter — I have nowhere to put my elbows," Daly explained. "I used to be able to put my elbows right on my love handles and that was pretty good. Now they are all over the place."

The American heads into this week’s tournament placed at a lowly 563th in the world rankings, having failed to finish inside the top 20 in 24 ranking events this year.

He puts that down to a combination of injuries and the huge changes in his lifestyle, but is certain he will reap the benefits of his self-discipline in the weeks and months ahead.

"It’s been a tough year with injuries," he added. "I’ve had my shoulder popped back in place probably five times this year and I had it popped again before I came over.

"The ball striking has been great but the putter has let me down a lot this year."