1991: The improbable champion

Champion: John Daly, Dardanelle, Ark.
Site: Crooked Stick Golf Club, Carmel, Ind.
Date: Aug. 8-11
Purse: $1,400,000
Par: 36-36 - 72 (7,295 Yards)
Field: 151 Cut at 147 (77 players advanced)

John Daly's prodigious driving ability added to a larger-than-life birth of a legend in the 73rd PGA Championship. The ninth alternate in the field, Daly got a telephone call in Memphis, Tennessee at 5 p.m. Wednesday from PGA Tournament Administrator Ken Anderson. Daly was informed he had moved up to first alternate. Daly packed his bags, drove 7 1/2 hours to Indianapolis, and got the good news on a message light at his hotel: Nick Price, whose wife was expecting, had withdrawn.

From there, Daly went on golf's most memorable exhibition by any rookie player. He averaged 303 yards per drive on the 7,295-yard Crooked Stick layout, by proving his length wasn't the only weapon in his arsenal. He also played solidly on the speedy greens and, without the benefit of a practice round, posted an opening-round 69 to tie for eighth place. He hit 54 greens in regulation, which prompted Tom Kite to comment: "He should, when he's hitting 8-irons and the rest of us are hitting 2-irons."

Daly seized the lead for good by stringing together rounds of 67 and 69 on the second and third days, attracting mammoth galleries to his side. His final-round 71 was almost like his late-night trip from Memphis - he was on cruise control. "I can't remember when I've hit my driver this straight," Daly said. "All four days, I didn't think. I just hit it. Squeaky (Medlen, his caddie) just said, 'Kill,' and I killed it. I just hit it so good this week, I had no fear out there."

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