• Welcome To ShotTalk.com!

    We are one of the oldest and largest Golf forums on the internet with golfers from around the world sharing tips, photos and planning golf outings.

    Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon!

My US Open Story from Pinehurst


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
I attended the 99 USO at Pinehurst. I had a business unit in Winston Salem NC and my manager there obtained two tickets for the opening round on Thursday. We drove down very early on Thursday morning.

When I go to a tournament, I like to see all of the holes and I like to see as much of the field as I can so I have developed a method of walking the course backward. This method allows "the field to come to you" and when a group of big names is coming up, you can often secure a position right along the ropes, after the group ahead vacates - and before the horde following the big names gets to your area.

We went through the gates and walked straight to the ninth green and watched some groups come through. We then proceeded to 8 and 7 etc.

As we approached the 3rd green - which has a snack bar and grandstand - we decided to take a breather. I got a sandwhich and we sat in the grandstand and watched several groups, including Tiger and Greg Norman...We learned that all the players used the same strategy on this hole by watching through our binoculars toward the tee.

The third hole at Pinehurst is by far the shortest Par 4 on the course at 336. It is a simple dogleg right par 4. In the crook of the dogleg is very deep rough. This crook is about 210ish from the tee.

Every player we saw, got out a long iron and hit it to the outer part of the dogleg and wedged in. We saw a couple of birdies as a result of good wedge shots. Tiger parred the hole when his 12 footer lipped out.

After awhile, we decided it was time to walk back toward #3 tee and on to the clubhouse area. We walked along the third fairway and the area was deserted...a group that included some amateurs was teeing off and there was no gallery.

As I approached the 3rd tee, I checked my Lineup and it said that Darren Clarke, Jim Furyk and John Daly were coming up next. So we decided to wait there. We stood at the ropes of the teebox and chatted up the marshals - a couple of country club wives from Charlotte.

Peacefully quiet - just the four of us.

Suddenly, through the pines, we see the group approaching. The guy with the sign is up front and I see Daly and a mob of spectators behind him.

Somewhere in all of this, Clarke and Furyk are coming behind.

Daly is such a sensation. That day, he was dressed in Black pants, black shirt, black shoes and a bright orange leopard-skinned golf hat which looked like something you would find at a Wal-Mart. Pure redneck. And don't forget the white-framed wraparound sunglasses with orange lenses. The perfect fashion compliment to the hat.

He had a Mullet haircut at the time. Cut very short on the top with long blonde hair flowing out of the back of the hat.

Suddenly our quiet scene has become noisy and boisterous. Before they arrived there were four people: the two of us and the two marshal's inside the ropes. I look around and about a 1000 people are lining both sides of the fairway with a mob about ten deep standing behind us.

For some reason, I looked up at the scorers sign. It said,
Furyk 1 (in black), Clarke 1 (in black) and Daly 2 (in red).

John Daly has birdied the first two holes. He is the early leader in the 99 Open. No wonder his supporters are juiced.

Now, I see that Daly and his caddy have the yardage book out and are in an animated discussion about what to do. Clarke and Furyk are standing at the back of the tee with their irons in their hands.

Daly is thinking about Going For It. He and the caddy look down and point at the book and look up and point at objects in the fairway.

The crowd watches in anticipation.

Furyk and Clarke are furious at the sideshow. They know that the right play is the long iron. The landing area is clear ahead they want Daly to hit. Because he is low, he goes first.

Finally, Daly goes back to his golf bag. His fat hand reaches out for the....furry Driver headcover!!

The crowd Explodes...it was like a touchdown in a Superbowl or a goal by Manchester United vs. Arsenal.

They are cheering a club selection.

Now Daly walks to the tee line and puts his ball up. It looks to me like he is playing about a 5 inch tee. The ball looks like it is little water tower there.

He paws the ground like a bull and aims straight for the crook of the dogleg. If the hole plays 336 with the dogleg, I guess we could imagine it is only about 310 to the green.

Massive backswing...blistering swing forward...Whoosh...

It carries the dogleg and starts rolling straight for the green...from what I could tell he was a bit short of the fringe.

You could imagine the crowd reaction. I look over at Clarke and Furyk and they are rolling their eyes. The normally staid US Open has become a circus.


The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
Good story Bravo. That Daly is crowd pleaser, no doubt about it.


ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
Great pen, B-Man.

That is one of the reasons that Daily is right up on my list of golfers. He ain't so snotty little fraidee paints... He lives and dies that way, and makes no excuses.

What was the story about him at the clinic with Jacobson and teeing a ball up, grabbing a driver and setting up TOWARDS the stands. Jacobson thought he had an explodind ball or something and told him to go for it. Daily grips and rips a driver over the grandstand full of people. Jacobson almost has a heart attack.



Fac ut gaudeam
Supporting Member
Sep 1, 2004
Similar story at Muirfield, Jockoland at the Open in 96? The Faldo year.

On the 8th, a dogleg about 400 yards, there are some quite nasty pot-holes about 230-240 from the tee. The play is a long iron, to the neck, and a mid iron to the green.

On the final day we were standing on the tee and I watched Daly stand up and bomb one directly for the green. Admittedly he was in last position in the field that day, but he left himself on the apron. He did it that quick, I don't think it registered with folk watching what happened until he walked off the tee. Just another shot to him I guess.

Just like the little girl, when he's good, he's very good, when he's bad he's awful.

btw Check out my picks for the Battle of Pinehurst. Go Long John. I wonder, since Clarke is not playing this year, will he lend JD some dancing trousers.

Any thoughts DaveIreland? :emot-ange


Short Game Tragedy
Mar 8, 2005
Great read, Bravo. I especially like the back-to-front strategy. I'll remember it should I ever attend a tour event.


Feb 20, 2005
i seen Big John at a skins game with Joey Sindalar,Jeff Sluman & Billy Casper.first thing that shocked me as i stood beside heim trying to get his autograph was he realy isnt that big.

but to go see them in a skins game for charity is the way to go they are alot looser and they are just having fun.this skins game was about 2 days after the end of the US Open at Pinehurst.when poor John had the putting incident.so i didnt think he was goin to be in a very good mood,but it turned out he was a blast and joking about it.


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Yes he is no more than 5'10"....kind of a heavyset body but not tall by any means.


Life's too short to drink cheap wine.
Apr 29, 2005
I heard a Daly story. seems he was playing a pro-Am or an exibition match or something. He sets a beer can down on the tee box, tees his ball up on the can then drives off the can. The he picks up his beer & finishes it.

I bet he'd be a hoot to play a casual round with.


Supporting Member
Apr 16, 2005
Who's your caddy?

Read the section on Daly in the book Who's your Caddy? Quite revealing :)

🔥 Latest posts