Watch the time Tiger Woods hit a perfect drive in a playoff -- and John Daly still smoked one past him
Sports fans were treated to the debut of the terrific ESPN "30 for 30" on John Daly on Tuesday night. But a lot of material had to be cut to get the film under an hour, and during one commercial break, directors Gabe Spitzer and David Terry Fine told a tale involving Daly and Tiger Woods that didn't make it into the documentary. The gist of the story is that Daly tried to get Woods to have a beer with him instead of working out. Using himself as an example, Daly told Woods he didn't need to work out to be good at golf, to which Woods replied, "If I had your talent, I wouldn't have to work out, either."
Perhaps, that was a bit of an exaggeration by a man who has won 14 major championships, but the following clip speaks to the immense gifts Daly possessed on the golf course. It takes place on the tee box of the first sudden-death hole of a playoff at the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship at Harding Park Golf Club. Woods drew the honors of hitting first, took aim on a ridiculous line on the course's 18th hole, and unleashed a perfect drive that ABC's Mike Tirico estimated went about 350 yards.
But almost before the crowd even had time to die down, Daly followed with a bomb of his own -- and then calmly reached down to pick up his cigarette. Daly's golf ball bounded about 15 yards by Woods' ball, drawing cheers from the gallery and a loud cackle from Tirico, who blurted out, "He got him!" Check it out:
Woods later described the atmosphere surrounding this clash of two of golf's biggest draws to the New York Times. "When we were taking the carts back to the tee, I couldn't hear anything. In my left ear, I'm half deaf, people whistling and screaming, and then my right ear, I'm half deaf. It was electric, it was loud, people were really into it. J.D. brings huge galleries everywhere he goes."
"I don't think there are a lot of people watching NFL football right now," Daly added.
It didn't end up being a happy ending for Daly, who three-putted from about 15 feet on the second playoff hole to lose. He never won again in his PGA Tour career, but he certainly impressed everyone -- including the game's best player -- that day.
"John should take a lot out of this, he played well," Woods said in his TV interview after. "He drove it beautifully all week. He drove it so good, it was a joke."