John Patrick Daly II is a wee chip (ok technically a pitch) off the old block as this footage from the PNC Father/Son Challenge in the United States over the weekend illustrates.
Known as ‘Little John Daly’, the 13-year-old five-handicapper showed his two-time major championship winning father the way with a stiffed wedge shot during the tournament at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
They may have played in matching outfits but Little John apparently isn’t quite as brash as his 50-year-old dad.
“LJ”, who turned 13 in July, is an all-around athlete who plays football, basketball and golf, but mainly focuses on golf and attends the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Clermont, Florida after picking up the game from his superstar father when he was two.
“He started with chipping and putting,” John Snr told the event’s PR team beforehand. “I’ve never pressured him to play. He’s just enjoyed the game. I’ve seen too many fathers pressure their kids to play. Now he wants to play every day.”
Major winner turned TV pundit David Duval and stepson Nick Karavites won the famed event, shooting a 10-under-par 62 to finish with a -21 total.
They edged 2013 champions Stewart and Connor Cink, newcomers Retief and Leo Goosen, and Fred and Taylor Funk by one shot to earn the $200,000 first-place cheque.
Duval, who won the 2001 Open Championship, will now add another piece of golf history to his trophy cabinet. The PNC Father/Son Championship winners receive the Willie Park belts, named for the first father and son duo to win the Open Championship, Willie Park Sr. and Jr.
For the record, event newcomers John and Little John Daly shot 63 to tie for ninth at -17.
“The way L.J. played this week, I’m so proud of him,” Daly said. “He’s been clutch all week. It’s been a great week for me. The progress for him to see it under the gun, the way he performed, it was incredible.”
To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or The Players Championship. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters and grandsons participate over the years.
Former champions include Jack and Gary Nicklaus, Bob and David Charles, Raymond Floyd and his son Raymond Jnr, Craig and Kevin Stadler and Berhard and Stefan Langer.