FAYETTEVILLE -- John Daly II's name stands out among 50 golfers at the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational, a three-day event that tees off today at the Fayetteville Country Club.
His father, former Arkansas Razorbacks golfer John Daly, has 18 professional wins, including a PGA Tour Champions victory last month. But "Little John," or "LJ," as he's called, has been making a name for himself on the junior golf circuit. He has five wins, two second-place finishes and a third-place posting in eight starts on the International Junior Golf Tour. Daly II also won his only American Junior Golf Association event to qualify for this week's AJGA tourney.
KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational
at Fayetteville Country Club, June 20-22
Jake Beber-Frankel^Miami, Fla.^2020
Ben Brogdon^Little Rock, Ark.^2022
Tucker Clark^Phoenix, Ariz.^2020
John Daly II^Clearwater, Fla.^2021
Jaxon Dowell^Edmond, Okla.^2020
Drew Doyle^Louisville, Ky.^2020
John Heckel^San Jose, Calif.^2021
Andrew Hughes^Dawsonville, Ga.^2021
Sebastian Iqbal^San Jose, Calif.^2019
Andrew Yong. H Jung^San Diego, Calif.^2021
Kelvin Lim^(Canada) Thornhill, Ontario^2020
Austin Liu^Oak Park, Calif.^2019
Connery Meyer^Marietta, Ga.^2020
Will Morlan^Alpharetta, Ga.^2021
Dawson Ovard^Frisco, Texas^2019
Nate Plaster^Spokane, Wash.^2020
Jackson Rivera^Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.^2021
Vishnu Sadagopan^Pearland, Texas^2020
Nicklas Staub^Boynton Beach, Fla.^2022
Nels Surtani^Noblesville, Ind.^2020
Eli Tran^Lubbock, Texas^2021
Jackson Van Paris^Pinehurst, N.C.^2021
Evan Vo^Austin, Texas^2021
Jerry Wu^Temple City, Calif.^2020
Kynadie Adams^ Gallatin, Tenn.^ 2022
Jenny Bae^ Lawrenceville, Ga.^ 2019
Sophia Bae^ Norwood, N.J.^ 2021
Antonella Blanco^ Xalapa, Ver, Mexico^ 2021
Hailey Borja^ Lake Forest, Calif.^ 2019
Phoebe Brinker^ Wilmington, Del.^ 2020
Zoe Antoinette Campos^ Valencia, Calif.^ 2021
Briana Chacon^ Whittier, Calif.^ 2019
Angelina Chan^ Franklin, Tenn.^ 2019
Siyan Chen^ (China) Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla.^ 2019
Jennifer Cleary^ Wilmington, Del.^ 2020
Sadie Englemann^ Austin, Texas^ 2020
Julia Gregg^ Farmers Branch, Texas^ 2019
Charlotte Hillary^ Cherry Hills Village, Colo.^ 2020
Elizabeth Lu^ Los Gatos, Calif.^ 2020
Michaela Morard^ Huntsville, Ala.^ 2020
Brianna Navarrosa^ San Diego, Calif.^ 2020
Makenzie Niblett^ Austin, Texas^ 2021
Calynne Rosholt^ Cedar Park, Texas^ 2021
Serena Sepersky^ Temecula, Calif.^ 2019
Elina Sinz^ Katy, Texas^ 2020
Meiyi Yan^ (China) Windermere, Fla.^ 2019
Katie Yoo^ Orlando, Fla.^ 2020
SiQin Yu^ (China) Bradenton, Fla.^ 2020
Rose Zhang^ Irvine, Calif.^ 2021
Like his father, who became the first PGA Tour player to average more than 300 yards per drive for an entire season in 1997, Daly II is dangerous with a driver. He regularly drives it 240 yards, but said "if I get mad or swing it extra hard for whatever reason, I can smack it like 250."
Not bad for a 13-year-old who began golfing at age 2.
"When he started, he put my golf clubs under his left arm, swung it that way and hit it beautifully," said John Daly, who'll watch the first two days of his son's tourney before heading to a Pro-Am event in Wisconsin. "When he was 4, the first time he took a full swing he just knocked the living hell out of it and then he's been at it from then on."
Daly II will be among 50 young golfers in this week's event, which features the top 25 boys and 25 girls ages 12 to 15. Only one entrant hails from Arkansas -- Little Rock's Ben Brogdon -- but Daly II is a part-time Arkansan because he spends his summers knocking the ball around The Lion's Den, his father's golf course in Dardanelle.
Despite driving the ball farther than most his age, Daly II said his "short game has been the key" to success in junior tournaments thus far.
"On a typical practice day, I hardly ever hit woods," Daly II said. "I've been practicing my short game a lot with chipping and putting. I work on all of my shots, but usually begin practicing by hitting wedges for a good 25-30 minutes and then just hit shots with my irons.
"From 50-80 yards is my biggest weakness because I can't control the spin, but I'm working on it."
Daly II said his father has never pushed him to play golf, although his dad does offer tips "when he sees something in my swing." His father said he's never had to push his son because he pushes himself.
"He's awesome. He's so dedicated to the game," Daly said. "He's got great coaches at the golf academy he attends in Florida and his game management is better than everyone else. He works on his short game the most, which is what I did and still do."
Daly also has made a name for himself through his Loudmouth Golf clothing line, which includes wild, colorful pants. Daly II enjoys the style, too. During Thursday's final round, Daly II said he may sport the same American flag pants and red shirt his father did May 7 during the final round of his one-stroke victory at Insperity Invitational, his first PGA Tour Champions title.
Sports on 06/20/2017