An unbelievable John Daly shot once ‘freaked out’ a 13-year-old Tiger Woods

John Daly and Tiger Woods share a laugh in 2005.

John Daly and Tiger Woods share a laugh in 2005.

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Two years before John Daly stunned the golf world and won the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick, Daly shocked a young Tiger Woods.

It happened at the National Insurance Youth Golf Classic at Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark., when Woods, 13, was grouped with a 23-year-old Daly. Some pros played in the event, and one of them was supposed to be David Ogrin. But according to the Texarkana Gazette, Orgin’s travel plans were squashed, so Daly was called in as a last-minute replacement. Daly, by chance, was then put in Woods’ group. At just 13, Woods was much younger than most of the field, which also featured future stars like David Duval and Justin Leonard.

Daly met Woods and Woods’ parents for the first time that day, and he recently recalled a shot that left the young Tiger stunned. He told the story on this week’s Subpar podcast with Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz.

Daly had only a few PGA Tour starts under his belt at that time and wasn’t as well known as he would become two years later by winning the PGA, but he was still a bomber. On one hole during that round with Woods, Daly said he hit a five-iron about 220 yards — and demolished the golf ball.

“The ball came unwound,” Daly said. “I think that kind of freaked [Tiger] out. He thought it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen in golf, that’s what he told his mom and dad. But I had to get a rules official because it just had the little rubber band sitting there in front of the green. I didn’t know what to do, can I play it? But luckily I got to replace the ball. I only beat him by [two] shots that day — he was only like 13.”

Check out the entire Subpar episode below, which includes thoughts on the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Ryder Cup team and more.

Josh Berhow Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at