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the goat

John Daly tells wild story about beating Tiger Woods while hungover and still drinking Jack and Cokes

December 14, 2023
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KIMBERLY BARTH

The legend of John Daly builds with every anecdote. He’s reached an iconic status where you could tell any story about the 57-year-old major winner, and we’d have no choice but to believe it and respect it. This one, in which he beat Tiger in 1994 wickedly hungover while also continuing to drink, is as Daly as it gets, and we’re glad we got another Daly tale to add to the ever-growing list.

With a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Daly broke down the 1994 match-up he had with Woods at Sherwood Country Club in which Tiger was “shaking his head all day.” He admitted that it’s one of two times that he drank during a sanctioned event but that “the statute of limitations for fining me is up now.” It all starts with a bottle of Jack Daniels the night before the round.

“We had the roundtable at Sherwood and I had my bottle of Jack Daniels then. I just meet these guys, right? Tiger came in and I said ‘T, come have a drink with us man’. And he said ‘No, I’m going to go hit some balls’. A few hours later, I said again, ‘Come have a drink with us.’ Tiger said, ‘No, I’m going to go work out’. This is going on for about 5 or 6 hours and we’re still there just pounding, getting drunk, having a good time. I got a sponsorship out of it which I was happy about.

“TW comes out in a suit and I go, ‘Where are you going?’ He says ‘I got a guitar on stage for you. You have to go to the dinner.’ I didn’t know anything about a dinner. I got no shoes on, I got my shirt tucked out, I got shit spilled all over me. Just drunk. The bar room wasn’t very far, so I stumbled over there. There’s a chair and a guitar. I did ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ and got a standing ovation and said I’ll see you tomorrow.”

We’re already in a Hall of Fame John Daly story but it somehow jumps up a level from there when the Diet Coke fiend and Woods finally step up to the Sherwood tee box together.

“So [the next morning] we tee off, my caddie was drunk with us … But the funny thing about Tiger is, when I got on the tee, I had my caddie bring me a crown or a jack and coke, if you’ve never played Sherwood, the first hole, he’s walking and walking through all the cactuses on this hill trying not to spill my drink.

“I grab my 3-iron and go on the tee. To make a long story short, I shoot like 65 he shoots like 71, he was shaking his head all day.”

You almost have to feel bad for Tiger. All he’s doing is training, working out, hitting balls and improving his game, and yet he can’t come within five strokes of some random rotund golfer with whiskey circulating through his bloodstream. It just goes to show you that golf isn’t fair and that John Daly is a god amongst mortals.