The John Daly and Bryson DeChambeau Show was a blast to watch (pun intended) (2022)

By: Alan Bastable

The John Daly and Bryson DeChambeau Show was a blast to watch (pun intended) (1)

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland —Bryson DeChambeau and John Daly share at least one thing in common, and we’ll get to that in a moment, but mostly they could not be more different.

DeChambeau is muscular and cleanly shaven. Daly is built like Santa, and has a bleached blond beard that is the envy of every garden gnome. DeChambeau wears stylish, clingy Puma gear that shows off his chiseled figure. Daly wears purple pants adorned with flowers and skulls, and a baggy grey windbreaker from the Masters merchandise shop (yes, really).

DeChambeau once added 40 pounds of muscle on a diet of steaks and protein shakes. Daly once lost nearly 70 pounds in two-and-a-half months on a diet of popcorn and Jack Daniel’s. DeChambeau’s approach to golf is fueled by physics and speed training and the deeply technical teachings of Homer Kelley. Daly’s approach to golf is, well, grip it and rip it.

Daly smokes Marlboros. DeChambeau smokes Bridgestones.

All of which is to say, when DeChambeau and Daly set out together in the 7:52 a.m. grouping in the first round of the 150th Open Championship — with Cameron Tringale along for the ride —they were a study in contrasts.

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Save for one obvious thing.

DeChambeau and Daly, who until Thursday had never played a competitive round together, are to golf-ball mashing what Bird and Curry are to three-point shooting. Superstars. Legends. Iconoclasts. Daly led the PGA Tour in driving distance 11 times, and, in 1997 —with a balata ball, Daly will be quick to remind you — became the first player to post a season-long average north of 300 yards. DeChambeau has been the longest driver on Tour the last two seasons with ball speeds (220 mph!) that even a few years ago were inconceivable. In 2019-20, DeChambeau broke the 17-year-old Tour driving distance record with an average poke of 322.1 yards.

So the opening round of this historic major gave golf fans quite a thrill: the Yoda and Skywalker of tee-ball obliteration, blasting their way around the Old Course together.

Before we proceed, let us be clear: Daly, who is now 56, is not the JD of Crooked Stick lore. Far from it. His swing is still long and flowy but he has lost some speed, and he lumbers around the course with a bum left knee. As he walked from the 13th green to the 14th tee Thursday, a marshal in a green golf cart joked to Daly, “Take the buggy.”

“Can I have it?” Daly quipped back.

At least we think he was joking.

A moment later, in the same walkway, Daly’s longtime girlfriend, Anna Cladakis, leaned over the ropes and handed her beau a cup of ice and a Diet Coke, of which he has been known to consume up to 12 in a round. Daly took only a few more strides before a young fan offered him a beer.

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“I need a vodka,” Daly joked.

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Daly also could have used something else on Thursday if he wanted to keep up with golf’s new long-drive king: about 50 more yards. “It was fun just to see the power he has,” Daly said after posting a more-than-respectable one-over 73, four shy of DeChambeau’s mark. “He’s hitting his 4-iron 280, 290 off the tee. On 15 [a 455-yard par-4], he hit 7-iron off the tee, which is amazing. It’s a blast to watch.”

The fans seemed to agree, urging on both players on every tee box. On the 465-yard par-4 13th, DeChambeau laid back with an iron. When Daly pulled driver, the crowd roared its approval.

“I want to get it past that left bunker,” Daly said later. “If he hits driver, he wants to drive the green.”

On another hole, DeChambeau did. Daly, too.

At the 351-yard par-4 12th, both players launched soaring drives that rewarded them with eagle putts, though, with the putting surface obscured from the tee box, neither was sure of it. DeChambeau arrived on the green first to find both of their balls within 40 feet of the hole. He looked back down the fairway toward Daly with a big grin and gave him a thumbs-up.

“Right here!” DeChambeau bellowed.

DeChambeau sounded genuinely happy for Daly, and not only on that occasion. When Daly nearly drove the green at 18, DeChambeau offered up a hearty, “Nice shot!”

DeChambeau and Daly aren’t close, but they clearly respect one another and undoubtedly appreciate each other’s go-for-broke style of play.

On the 15th tee, Daly appeared awed by how far DeChambeau had smashed his 7-iron. As Tringale prepared to hit, Daly pulled DeChambeau’s 7-iron out of his bag to compare it to his own. He put them side by side, shook his head and just laughed.

DeChambeau was equally roused by Daly’s game.

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“It was something to see,” DeChambeau said of Daly’s five-birdie round. “He’s obviously wobbling a little bit around the golf course, but he’s getting through it. And, man, for him to shoot the score he shot today was pretty impressive. I was on 13 or 14, going, What is he, one over, still right there? And the crowds obviously love him. It’s great to feed off that.”

Indeed, everywhere Daly went, he heard some combination of adoration and playfulness from the usually decorous Scottish galleries. Along the 15th fairway, fans desperate to get Daly’s attention yelled things like:

“Love the trousers!”

“Hey, John, where we goin’ for drinks after?”

“Is he smoking a cigarette? What a legend!”

After the round, I asked DeChambeau if Daly —in his prime and with modern equipment —would have been longer than DeChambeau.

“That’s a question for him,” DeChambeau said. “But I think he could. He probably for sure had like around 85 to 88 ball speed back in his day. And that’s with equipment and the golf balls not being as firm. I’m sure he had the speeds that I have out there.”

I didn’t get a chance to ask Daly the same question, but Daly has previously spoken on the topic.

On the Full Send podcast last year, Daly said that, yes, peak Daly would outdrive DeChambeau —“by far.”

“Bryson, what he’s doing is phenomenal but most of the golf tournaments I played, I hardly ever hit driver,” Daly said. “I hit 1-irons. I’d fly that thing 300 [yards]. I’d cut it 280 into par-5s.”

On Thursday, let the record show, Daly hit plenty of drivers. DeChambeau, not so much.

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The John Daly and Bryson DeChambeau Show was a blast to watch (pun intended) (5)

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Alan Bastable

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s executive editor, Bastable is responsible for the editorial direction and voice of one of the game’s most respected and highly trafficked news and service sites. He wears many hats —editing, writing, ideating, developing, daydreaming of one day breaking 80 —and feels privileged to work with such an insanely talented and hardworking group of writers, editors and producers. Before grabbing the reins at GOLF.com, he was the features editor at GOLF Magazine. A graduate of the University of Richmond and the Columbia School of Journalism, he lives in New Jersey with his wife and foursome of kids.

FAQs

What did DeChambeau say about driver? ›

DeChambeau's insistence, after his first round at Royal St George's, that his driver “sucked” led to Cobra's tour operations manager to call the comments “stupid” and say the former US Open champion was behaving “like an eight-year-old”.

What does John Daly eat? ›

'The final tally of literally everything he put into his body over a full 18 holes: 21 cigs, 12 Diet Cokes, 6 packs of Peanut M&M's, 0.0 ounces of water,' Brinson tweeted.

Who is John Daly's wife? ›

John Daly

What hole is John Daly on? ›

Playing just recently at the Federal Club in Glen Allen, Va., in the Bone Frog Open, a charity pro-am benefiting the families of fallen Navy SEALs, Federal Club golf professional Josh Price just happened to have video rolling for Daly's shot on the par-3 11th hole, which is 121 yards long from the white tees.

What driver does Tiger Woods use? ›

What Driver Does Tiger Woods Use? Tiger has selected the TaylorMade Stealth Plus as his preferred big stick for this season. Tiger Woods driver shaft is fitted with a Mitsubishi Diamana D + Limited 70 TX, the stiffest golf shaft that you can find. As a result, it is built for faster swing speeds.

What did Bryson DeChambeau say about Tiger Woods? ›

Bryson DeChambeau has thanked Tiger Woods and claimed the 16-time major winner is responsible for “creating” LIV Golf. Woods has remained staunchly loyal to the PGA Tour despite a flow of its best players to the Saudi-backed league.

How much does it cost to play golf with John Daly? ›

Quick Facts:
NameJohn Patrick Daly
Famous For– Driving distance off the tee – long backswing – the inconsistency of play – Personal life – Non-country-club appearance and attitude
ProfessionGolfer
Appearance booking fee$30,000-50,000
ResidenceDardanelle, Arkansas
34 more rows
18 Aug 2022

Does PGA allow smoking? ›

Currently, the PGA does not have any specific rules that prohibit players from smoking on tour. However, it does seem as though certain venues ban smoking on their premises. In other words, PGA Players are allowed to smoke as long as the club/course does not have any policies that prohibit it.

Are John Daly and Tiger Woods friends? ›

John Daly's love for Diet Coke is quite popular in the world of golf. With each day passing, we only happen to hear new stories related to Daly and Diet Cokes. Recently, his good friend Tiger Woods also remembered a similar incident during the 2007 PGA Championship.

Who is the redneck golfer? ›

Windham, NH: SQAIRZ, the fastest growing golf shoe company announced the release of its latest new shoe, the “JOHN DALY REDNECK”, celebrating the roots of the legendary golfer and SQAIRZ partner, John Daly. “Long John” has been playing professional golf for over 30 years and has 2 major championships and 19 total wins.

How many hole in ones does John Daly have? ›

People don't realize just how hard making a hole-in-one is, and there are still tons of professional golfers that are still waiting for their first one, and ol' Long John has made 11.

How do you swing like John Daly? ›

PGA Champion JOHN DALY Over the Top Miracle Golf Swing - YouTube

Who is the best golfer of all time? ›

Who is the best golfer of all time? Based on the number of victories alone, Jack Nicklaus is hands down the best golfer of all time. He has a total of 73 PGA Tour wins, 10 Champions Tour trophies, and overall 115 worldwide wins.

What does WD mean in golf? ›

WD - Withdrawn: Often, a player will have to withdraw from a round voluntarily. When you WD a player, their scores will still show on the leaderboard, and those scores will be used in other tournaments (if applicable) in that round.

How Far Can John Daly drive? ›

John Daly hit the longest recorded drive of the 1992 season. It went 308 yards.

What is DeChambeau's problem? ›

In an effort to maintain the facade of genius, DeChambeau is seemingly unwilling to accept responsibility for anything that doesn't break his way and fearful of revealing his own humanity.

What did DeChambeau say about Cobra? ›

July 16 (Reuters) - Bryson DeChambeau has apologised for "very unprofessional" comments about his Cobra driver in the wake of his poor start to the British Open after the equipment manufacturer said the American was behaving like "an 8-year-old that gets mad at you".

Who uses Radspeed driver? ›

The evolution of Bryson DeChambeau's driver at the World Long Drive. The 4.5-degree sticker affixed to Bryson DeChambeau's Cobra Radspeed driver would look out of place on a PGA Tour range in a sea of 9- and 10.5-degree heads.

What happened to DeChambeau at the Open? ›

It is a performance correlated to injuries, a torn left hip labrum and a hairline fracture in his left hand, with surgery on the latter forcing him out of the PGA Championship. Still, DeChambeau hasn't broken par since January and has not made a cut at a full-field event since August.

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