Bay Hill Invitational!
Only Daly was moving in the opposite direction.
Long John, who once made a quintuple-bogey 10 on the 543-yard sixth hole at Bay Hill, did himself eight shots “better” on Sunday, making an 18 – that’s right, 18 – on the same hole. He stood 2 under par for the tournament on the tee and walked off the green at 11 over. He slipped from a tie for 22nd to solo 53rd, which cost him about $15,000.
The scene was something straight out of Tin Cup, a movie Daly laughingly insists was based on his own life anyway. Playing his 32nd hole of the day, Daly knocked a drive into the lake that runs along the left side of the hole. He walked forward 25 yards, dropped a ball, then tried to carry the lake – an estimated 270-yard shot – with his 3-wood. He missed by a few feet. He then dropped again and again and again and again, each time failing to clear the water.
“After the fifth or sixth time, I just lost track,” said Paul Goydos, who was keeping Daly’s score. “He just kept going. The crowd started yelling, Tin Cup, Tin Cup … it was fun. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t trying.”
Daly finally got his seventh attempt (13th shot) over, much to the delight of the fans. His ball buried in a hazard. His 15th shot, from the fairway, was a 6-iron that bounded off the greenside rocks into a bunker. He blasted out and two-putted from 25 feet. And there you have it. Eighteen.
“It was a comedy and a tragedy all in one,” said Tom Watson, who was in the group.
Daly came back with a birdie on the seventh hole and closed with pars on the difficult eighth and ninth holes to shoot 49 on the front side and 85 for the day. He walked off the course in good spirits, actually believing he had set a PGA Tour record for highest score on a hole.
“Hey, I’m out here to break records,” he told Goydos.
However, at the 1938 U.S. Open, Ray Ainsley made 19 on the par-4 16th hole at Cherry Hills in Denver. Daly does own the new high score at No. 6, which had been 12 before Sunday.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t care,” Daly said. “I just lost my patience. I was more or less … determined. I had the courage to do it. I just didn’t have the wisdom to bail out.
“The way I look at it, it’s progress before perfection. I’m not going to worry about it. I didn’t do anything wrong. I just got a hell of a lot of practice with that 3-wood.”
My version of Hole #6 / Par 5 Bay Hill Club & Lodge
I just beat John Daly…and it only took me three takes to get the Par I needed.