John Daly detonates in final two holes to sink promising PGA Championship round

John Daly at the PGA Championship. (Getty)

You know, it’s a shame that golf tournaments aren’t 16 holes rather than 18. John Daly certainly would like it if they were right about now. After a promising start, Daly stumbled home with a bogey-triple bogey that left him three-over for the day.

Daly’s victory in the 1991 PGA Championship ranks as one of the most unbelievable in all of golf’s history: a ninth alternate, who drove all night from Memphis to Indiana, arriving just in time to tee off in the tournament he’d later win. Ever since, Daly’s lived the life of a country song, with women and beer and law enforcement swirling around in a perpetual haze. But he won that PGA, and four years later he won a British Open, and the golf world hasn’t ever been the same since.

Daly has slowed way down—he’s on the Senior Tour now, enjoying the life of a garishly panted elder statesman—but each year he makes his way back to the PGA Championship, one of the many perks of being a major champion.

Like most of the field, Daly struggled through Quail Hollow’s first holes, bogeying the first and fourth. But four birdies over the course of his round kept him in the mix, and at one point he was just two strokes off the lead. But with just two holes left to play, part of Quail Hollow’s famed “Green Mile,” Daly detonated. He bogeyed 17, and then completely fell apart on 18. After a decent drive and a solid approach that left him inside of 50 feet from the cup, Daly took five shots to get off the green, and just like that, a one-under round turned into a three-over atrocity.

Daly might not be in Charlotte for very long. But if nothing else, we’ve got this moment, where he hit the stage with Darius Rucker to sing a little “Purple Rain” less than 12 hours before his tee time:

It’d be great to see Daly stick around for the weekend, if only to see what pants he’ll break out. But he’ll have a lot of work to do.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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