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For one beautiful moment, John Daly led the PGA Championship again

Yahoo! Sports logo Yahoo! Sports 5/20/2021 Jay Busbee

It didn't last long. It was like a comet across the sky, there and gone again. But for a few instants, just before 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the great John Daly once again led the PGA Championship, wild pants and all. 

Daly, who takes advantage every year of the lifetime exemption he gets for winning the PGA in 1991 (as well he should), put his first shot of the 2021 PGA Championship wide of the fairway at Kiawah Island, and then his approach ended up in the sand around the green. 

But then, a bit of the ol' Daly magic:

a person that is standing in the grass: (ESPN) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports (ESPN)

That was enough to put Daly into a tie for first at -1. STOP THE COUNT! 

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Alas, it wouldn't last. Daly would go on to post double bogey-bogey numbers on the third and fourth holes, and that was that for his PGA Championship hopes. Still, it was nice for a moment. The man whose life has been a country song got another verse. 

Daly has made just three cuts at the PGA since 1998, his best finish a T18 in 2012. But he earned his way into the field with one of the great golf stories in history in 1991 — surging from being the ninth alternate to winning — and he ought to keep swinging as long as his knees will let him. 

a man standing next to a river: John Daly at the PGA Championship. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports John Daly at the PGA Championship. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook at @jaybusbee or contact him at

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