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John Daly is drinking and gambling again, not sure where it will lead but offering no regrets for losing an endorsement with Callaway Golf that had been his primary source of income.

"It's sad, but I think it's great to be free," Daly told Golf World magazine in this week's issue. "Granted, I could go out and lose everything (by) gambling and drinking, but there's no sense in denying it. It's in my blood."

Daly, a recovering alcoholic who has twice been in rehabilitation clinics since his surprising victory in the 1991 PGA Championship, said he ended 26 months of sobriety June 11 after missing the cut in the St. Jude Classic.

"I was just feeling down," he told the magazine. Daly's five-year deal with Callaway, signed after he left rehab in April 1997, included a provision that he not drink or gamble. Chairman Ely Callaway offered to send Daly to an addictions specialist nearly two weeks ago. Daly got to the undisclosed clinic and left.

Elsewhere in golf, Stephen Ames recovered from a potentially disastrous double bogey and shot an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Texas Open in San Antonio. Rich Beem and Charles Raulerson were one stroke back with a 65. Bob Estes, the first alternate for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, shot a 1-under 71.

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