ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Before ‘Tigermania’ took golf by storm there were a couple years when John Daly was the golfer everyone wanted to see. His booming drives and ‘folksy’ personality were attractive to a lot of people. His victory at the 1991 PGA Championship turned Daly into an overnight star. The next summer in 1992 he came to Rockford to participate in the Pro Am golf tournament.
I take you back to that day in today’s installment of ‘Stateline Sports Memories.’ To view that story click on the media player or continue reading.
The binoculars came in handy today, especially when one was trying to watch John Daly’s tee shots. The 26 year old showed why he’s the longest driver on the PGA Tour.
“He hit a three iron a mile,” said one spectator.
“I came here especially to watch him hit. I’ve seen what I wanted to see. He’s really awesome!” said another spectator.
When Daley wasn’t aweing the crowd with his tee shots he was thrilling them with his autograph. Lee Allison was one of the lucky ones.
“I think he’s a really wonderful guy. The nicest guy I ever met in golf,” said Allison.
Wherever Daly went the gallery was sure to follow. It’s been like this ever since he won the PGA Championship last August.
((SCOTT QUESTION)) Are you amazed with the fascination that the public has with you, in just one year the way the public has really latched onto you?
“Yea, I’m glad it hasn’t ended,” said Daly. “I haven’t been playing that good lately and people are still rooting for me and stuff, so I just hope it never ends.”
Daly has been in the running for only one championship this year. That was when he finished second at the Kemper Open. But while it’s been an uneventful year for him on the golf course it’s been a very memorable one for him off it. This is the year he’s taken on a bride, and he’s become a father.
“I haven’t really put that much effort into practicing that much,” said Daly. “I’m fixing to move to Denver, Colorado, and my wife we just had the baby and stuff, so I haven’t really been focused on golf about the last month. I haven’t been practicing the way I should be.”
It showed today. Daly shot a three-over-par 74 at the Rockford Country Club, but he was still number one with the fans.