JD might be the most entertaining figure in the game of golf.
He’s also a true one of a kind player, doing things that most players could never dream about.
What he did in 1991 at Crooked Stick is something I don’t think the golf world will ever see again.
Here’s why his first major victory should be talked about way more often.
John Daly Wins at Crooked Stick
Let’s rewind the clock back to the early 1990s.
Mullets were in, social media didn’t exist, and golf was in a pre-Tiger era. While it was a popular sport it was far from what it is today.
Enter John Daly.
The mullet rocking, chain-smoking, binge-drinking, long ball hitting rookie PGA Tour player.
His backswing and lifestyle made him quite a figure in the golf world. It made him look more like a long drive hitter than someone on tour.
But as a rookie he didn’t qualify for the event and barely made it in the field that week.
The 9th Alternate
John was the 9th (yes, 9th) alternate at the 1991 PGA Championship.
Nick Price had to drop out as his wife was about to give birth, clenching a spot for John.
He drove to the site the night before and barely arrived in time.
No Practice Round
Arriving hours before the event meant no practice round. Don’t forget, this was a major championship at a course that was known to challenge even the best players in the world.
Yet, he fired a 69 in round one and was only two shots off the lead after the first day.
Winning a major is impressive… but as the 9th alternate without a practice round? Unreal.
On top of being the last alternate and having never seen the course, he also used a caddy who he had never met!
Nick Price let him use his caddy for giving him such little notice (also, another class move).
That means someone who had no idea about his game, but luckily, had seen the course.
Winning as a Rookie
Don’t forget, this was his rookie year on the PGA Tour as well! Winning a major as a rook is something pros just don’t do very often.
Hoisting the massive PGA Championship trophy is something special. But how he spent his earnings is even more impressive.
Earlier in the week on Thursday, sadly, a fan was struck by lightning and died during a weather delay. After winning, JD spent $30K of his earnings to donate to the family.
The daughters of the man who was struck by lightning graduated, and one became a doctor. Another first class move by the rookie winner.
This guy is a true Cinderella story, and no way it could be done in modern golf. He was able to overcome insurmountable odds to take home the biggest win of his career (and become Rookie of the Year as well).
Now, the only question I wonder is, how did he celebrate his major title all those years ago?
Knowing John, I’m quite certain that it was a celebration to remember.
Do you think JD’s win at Crooked Stick is the greatest win of all time?
Let us know in the comments below!
Written by Michael Leonard