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Daly II blazing own golf path

Son for former Razorback and pro golfer playing Fayetteville tourney this week by Mike Capshaw | June 20, 2017 at 1:00 a.m.

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

Tournament Field


Name^(Citizenship) Hometown^Class

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

Hiroshi Tai^Singapore^2020

Eli Tran^Lubbock, Texas^2021

Jackson Van Paris^Pinehurst, N.C.^2021

Evan Vo^Austin, Texas^2021

Jerry Wu^Temple City, Calif.^2020


Name^(Citizenship) Hometown^Class

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

Print Headline: Daly II blazing own golf path


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