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January 13, 2018

John Daly

Orlando, Florida

Q. Father‑son. He just loves Little John. He said he can putt.
JOHN DALY: L.J.'s got a really good all around game, but his short game is his strength.

Q. He was loving watching you guys.
JOHN DALY: He hasn't quite hit the growth spurt yet, but he's going to start getting a lot longer. His short game is‑‑ you can read my logo. I use the 3s and 4s, and he uses the 1s and 2s. You can almost read the logo out ten feet when he putts it. It's just amazing.

Q. You have good hands yourself. This tournament, though, what's the thrill to be out here with a bunch of high profile guys?
JOHN DALY: Most of them are my friends now over the years. It's just cool to see them, to play golf with them. They're having a great time. We're all having a good time. It's a great week to see those guys and hang out with them. You don't have to put so much pressure on yourself to get started for the new year. It's not counting toward your Schwab Cup or anything.
You can just come out and play loose and free. It's the Stableford system. You kind of go for broke. It just makes it so much more relaxing for all of us.

Q. When you see guys in Hawaii, like D.J. almost getting the hole‑in‑one on the par 4 and starts the debate about driving distance, do you look at it as a problem, or do you think that's the way the game's evolved?
JOHN DALY: I just think the young kids coming up are stronger, taller. Everybody is a workout phenom now. I just never was that way, nor will I ever be. Everybody's a little different. The technology is making kids long, and their work ethic is incredible.
I still believe that your best player‑‑ you know, Jordan's probably one of the shortest of the best, and he's the best because his short game. I think kids today, you just see them bombing drives and beating balls on the driving range instead of working around the chipping green. Everything's about distance. To me, distance doesn't mean anything if you can't do anything around the green.
But you see with the TOUR guys, they're incredible. But Jordan's just got that short game, that Tiger‑esque type, when he was on that run for ten years. It's just incredible.

Q. Tiger obviously did influence a lot of these young guys, and probably the length thing. How much of a factor do you think you had in that? Because you were really the first guy‑‑ you know what I mean.
JOHN DALY: Back in the '90s, it was me and Freddy. That was it for a good, 10, 12, 13 years out there, and we held the show for it. Now there's 40, 50 kids that hit it 320 and 330. So it's kind of‑‑ it gets kind of‑‑ it's still really big, but it's not one person having to deal with it all the time. It's a bunch of guys dealing with it now.
But the fans want to see the guy ‑‑ they want to see him hit it really long, but most fans still want to see a guy make a putt to win and an unbelievable chip and stuff. But I think the whole short game aspect has gone just so far away from the game than what it used to be.

Q. And you, though, where would you have fit into this group? Would you have still been the longest guy?
JOHN DALY: It's hard to say. I probably would have been‑‑ you know, I'm still averaging over 300 on the Champions Tour, which is still probably top 15 or 20 out there.
But there's a few that separate themselves that's incredibly long. D.J. is 30 yards past me on an easy given day.

Q. Not in your prime, though, right?
JOHN DALY: Well, I don't know. I mean, it's hard to say. It's like Nicklaus could say the same thing, back in the day, if we had this technology, how far would Jack have hit it? Tom Weiskopf, how far would he have hit it? I always heard stories about how far he hit it.

Q. He was big.
JOHN DALY: And he could beat it. The technology was what‑‑ I think the kids are really good and they work hard at it, but the technology really helps a lot.

Q. Brandel Chamblee proclaimed the shot from D.J. the greatest shot in the history of the game, and he actually listed a bunch, going back to some 2 iron that Bobby Jones hit in 1923. So he wasn't just like‑‑
JOHN DALY: What hole did D.J. do it on? I haven't seen it.

Q. He did it on like the 12th hole or something, but he hit it and had just a fade on it and caught the hill. I'm telling you, man, he rolled it up ‑‑
JOHN DALY: I've hit it on that green before. It's straight away down‑‑

Q. You've hit it on that green?
JOHN DALY: The best shot I ever hit was Atlanta Country Club on the 13th or 14th hole. It was tight, and you had to fly it on. It was like 320. Ask Brandel about that one.

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