John Daly is, as I wrote earlier in the day, one of the most naturally gifted golfers the game has ever seen. It’s something even Tiger Woods has acknowledged — here’s an anecdote Daly loves to tell about it.
It was during the 2004 Target World Challenge and Daly had just completed the Wednesday pro-am with some friends and was in the clubhouse drinking and telling stories when Tiger Woods walked into the room.
“Tiger’s there in his workout clothes and I said, ‘Tiger come have a beer with us, man,’” Daly recalls.
Woods declined, explaining that he was bound for the gym and one of his ubiquitous workout sessions. Daly persisted, “I go, ‘Man, you don’t need to work out. You need to drink a little bit with us.’”
Woods’ answer is the stuff of legend.
“He said, ‘If I had your talent I’d be doing the same thing you’re doing,’” Daly says. “I’m looking at him thinking ‘you’re crazy, man.’”
Daly told that story once again on the Dan Patrick show on Monday following his victory at the Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational. Asked by the host whether he thinks he has more natural talent than Woods, he dismissed the idea, instead paying tribute to Tiger’s short game (which, he says, was comparable to Jack Nicklaus’ in his prime) and adding that Tiger’s grind-it-out mindset is what propelled him to the heights.
“Tiger is so focused, he’s a very feel and natural golfer with the mentality of a Nick Faldo or a Jack Nicklaus…I think tiger was always one, two, three, four steps ahead of me in this game. His focus and mentality were the strongest I’ve ever seen in a golfer.”
The full clip: