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Daly takes himself off antidepressant medication

LA QUINTA, Calif. - John Daly, whose personal life and golf career have taken many careening turns, is trying a new direction.

Daly has taken himself off antidepressant medication that he believes has affected his game.

"Certain times in my life, I think I needed it, but right now I just think antidepressants have made me very lazy, taken a lot of energy out of me. Everyone says, `Well, that's just part of it,"' Daly said Thursday after he shot his best round in nearly a year, a 6-under-par 66, to move within two strokes of leader Fred Funk in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Daly, who has fully tapped his considerable golf talent for only scattered moments in his career, has had problems with alcohol abuse and with mood swings in the past.

He said he quit taking antidepressants about three weeks ago.

"I just feel like I've got a lot more energy and working out has helped an awful lot," Daly said. "So I am going to see what happens. It could be a bad move on my part, but it also could make a world of difference."

It apparently made a difference last time.

"I took myself off medication three weeks before the Open in 1995," said Daly, whose last win came in that tournament.

"The doctor here told me I needed to be back on it, and I've never really done anything since then. I had a pretty good West Coast last year, but when you're playing golf and you don't have energy because of something you take ...

"I just got tired of it."

Daly's play through two rounds of the five-day Hope tournament indicate his game is sharp. Although he's one of the tour's biggest hitters and doesn't necessarily fare well on narrow courses like the ones used for the Hope, he was very consistent during the second round despite gusting winds that made play difficult.

"I played very well," he said. ``I only missed one green, and for me to do that when the wind is blowing that hard on pretty much a tight golf course, that gives me confidence to say, `Hey, I can play some tight golf courses every now and then,"' he said.