It’s impossible to watch John Daly’s son take his long, powerful swing and not recall his dad’s grip-it-and-rip-it approach to playing golf. But now the pair’s career paths in the game may be starting to mirror each other.
On Tuesday, John Daly II grabbed a share of the lead at an American junior tournament – and it couldn’t have come at a more fitting place.
Crooked Stick Golf Club is best known for Daly’s breakthrough Major victory at the 1991 PGA Championship, but now it also could be the site of Little John’s own major triumph. The younger Daly finds himself in a five-way tie for the lead after 36 holes at the Dye National Junior Invitational. The final round at the Carmel, Indiana, course will be Wednesday.
Daly II, a high school junior in Clearwater, Florida, lipped out a 10-foot eagle putt on his final hole of the second round that would have given him the outright lead. He declined to be interviewed by reporters on site.
In its inaugural edition, the Dye National Junior Invitational – named in honour of famed golf architects Pete and Alice Dye – has a field of 33 of the top male and female junior golfers in the United States.
Daly II first drew attention in the golf world by pairing with his dad at the PNC Father/Son Challenge. A clip of him sinking the winning putt at a junior golf tournament in 2017 also went viral.
Big John became an instant sensation when he won the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick as the tournament’s ninth alternate. Needless to say, he’s been cheering on Little John all week as he literally follows in his dad’s footsteps.
And, yes, follows in his dad’s sense of style. Regardless of what happens on Wednesday, this won’t be the last we see of Little John.