How PGA Tour legend John Daly made an 18 (!) on the 6th at Bay Hill in 1998

John Daly made an 18 at Bay Hill in 1998, but it's not the highest one-score in PGA Tour history!

How PGA Tour legend John Daly made an 18 (!) on the 6th at Bay Hill in 1998
How PGA Tour legend John Daly made an 18 (!) on the 6th at Bay Hill in 1998

If you were wondering how PGA Tour legend John Daly made an 18 on the par-5 6th at Bay Hill in 1998, then you have arrived at the right place as we take a trip down memory lane, sadly for all the wrong reasons for 'The Wild Thing'.

Daly, now 57, was 32 years old when he recorded the worst-ever single-hole score during a PGA Tour event at famed Bay Hill.

The tournament was known as the Bay Hill Invitational when Daly made an 18 on the 543-yard par-5 6th in the final round in 1998.

He started the hole at 2-under par for the tournament, and then walked off the green at 11-over par. 

After the round, Daly, who won five times on the PGA Tour including two majors at the 1991 US PGA and 1995 Open, said: 

"It wasn't that I didn't care, but I guess after 32 holes (36 were played Sunday) I lost my patience. I had the courage to keep going for it, but I didn't have the wisdom to bail out right. I kept aiming farther and farther right, but the more right I aimed, the more I hooked it left."

The tournament is now known as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and it has been upgraded to Signature Event status as the world's best PGA Tour players continue to pay their respects to one of the game's greats who passed away aged 87 on 25 September 2016.

The likes of Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are all going in search of the famous red jacket, trophy and an elevated first-prize of $4m this week. 

The Arnold Palmer Invitational is one of eight Signature Events on the PGA Tour in 2024. 

But back to the original story and the reason you are here, Daly's incredible 18. 

How did John Daly make an 18 on the par-5 6th at Bay Hill?

So John Daly attempted something very silly on the par-5 6th at Bay Hill in 1998. 

Not once, but five times in fact. 

Daly tried to cut the corner of the hole all over water, but not just some of it like Bryson DeChambeau famously did in 2021, all of it. 

How PGA Tour legend John Daly made an 18 (!) on the 6th at Bay Hill in 1998

The Wild Thing more than lived up to his nickname 26 years ago as he tried to find the green in one shot.

The hole measured 543 yards. 

He certainly gave it a good go, but the ball came up just shy of the green.

Daly then put the driver away and plucked out his 3-wood from the bag. 

He gave the 3-wood five attempts from the tee - moving further right each time - but still had no luck in finding dry land. 

Realising it was just too much effort to get close to the green in one shot, Daly went back to the normal route where the rest of the field were aiming, but his ball still found the ripples.

That was seven lost balls in one hole!

As all the dropped shots continued to mount, Daly was suddenly playing his 15th shot from the fairway.

He used a 6-iron from there and while he came up short of the green in the rocks, his ball thankfully bounced up in the air and into the back bunker. 

Daly splashed out of the sand with his 16th shot and then two-putted for an 18. 

He was therefore 13-over par for the par-5 6th in 1998. 

To Daly's credit, he went and made a birdie-two on his very next hole at the par-3 7th. 


What is the worst one-hole score in PGA Tour history?

Incredibly, Daly does not own the worst one-hole score in PGA Tour record books.

Daly's one-hole score of 18 at the par-5 6th at Bay Hill in 1998 remains the third highest in PGA Tour history. 

The unfortunate honour of worst single-hole score in PGA Tour history rests with late great Tommy Armour who made an unbelievable 23 on the par-5 17th in the 1927 Shawnee Open at Shawnee Country Club. 

Armour reportedly sent 10 balls out of bounds on the hole as he racked up a 23. 

The second worst one-hole score in PGA Tour history is a 19 set by three players - Ray Ainsley, Dale Douglass and Hans Merrell. 

Daly holds three of the top 10 worst one-hole scores in PGA Tour history. 

While 18 was his top score, Daly also had a 13 on the par-4 4th hole at the 2011 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, as well as a 14 on the par-5 18th at the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach. 

Daly is no longer a competitor on the main PGA Tour circuit, but he still competes regularly on the PGA Tour Champions.

He also tees it up in the annual PNC Championship with his son John Daly III. 

Team Daly won the event in 2021 when they got the better of Tiger Woods and his son Charlie Woods

What's the worst one-hole score of your golf career? Come on, we're all friends here at GolfMagic, so come and share your stories over on the GolfMagic social media channels.

Take me to more golf news!

Sponsored Posts