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In a Compelling Show of Sportsmanship, ‘Bad Boy’ John Daly Lauds Golf Pro’s Victory at $2.4M Event: ‘Love Ya Brother’

Published 08/21/2023, 7:30 AM EDT

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via Reuters

Losing and winning is definitely a part of the game. If one wins, it is great, but what matters is how a person deals with not winning. John Daly is infamous in the golf world for his bad-boy attitude and his grand lifestyle. Despite his bad-boy persona, the 1991 PGA Championship winner’s great gesture of sportsmanship toward a fellow golfer in the PGA Tour Champions event- Shaw Charity Classic- is winning hearts.

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John Daly’s humble act was made even more amazing by one fact. The golfer put aside his own disappointing performance to support his friend and fellow athlete’s landmark victory.

John Daly celebrated his friend’s massive milestone


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John Daly was among the field that competed at the Shaw Charity Classic event. He made the cut at Canada’s Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, but unfortunately, could not go all the way. The 57-year-old, who walked off the 18th green at one under for the day, ended the event at T57 with a final score of even par. Despite the loss, he was waiting to celebrate his friend Ken Duke’s maiden PGA Tour Champions victory. (video below)

John Daly was waiting eagerly for his best friend to return after his memorable victory. As Duke approached, Daly gave him two thumbs up and wore a wide smile as he embraced the 54-year-old. The two-time Major winner won the hearts of people all around with his humble and loving gesture toward his friend, who won his first event since 2013.


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‘Long John’ took to his Instagram stories and wrote, “Congrats to one of my best friends to win his first @pgatourchampions event! Love ya brother @dukekw33.” 

This marked Ken Duke’s first win in over 10 years, with his last win also being his sole PGA Tour win. On that occasion, he required a playoff to clinch the Travelers Championship Trophy. That was not the case this time around, but Duke may have had that memory as he prepared to make a 6-foot birdie putt; especially as there was an eerie similarity on the final hole. It might have taken him a decade to come out as a formidable presence in the golf community, but Daly’s friend couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

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John Daly’s friend Ken Duke remembered his previous PGA win

Firsts are always special, and this one was, too. Ken Duke was extremely emotional and thrilled about his maiden victory on what was his 100th start of the PGA Tour Champions. The birdie on the 18th ensured the 54-year-old did not have to enter a three-way playoff against Tim Petrovic and Thongchai Jaidee, who ended at -13. 

Ken Duke, who ended the event at -14, yelled in excitement as he sunk his final putt. He hugged his caddie as the fans applauded him for his victory in the $2.4 million event. The golfer called it a dream come true. “This is exciting. I mean, I’ve always dreamed about this. This is where I started my professional career, up here in Canada, and I always thought that I’d win up here.” He also drew a comparison between his last two wins. (video below)


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“I had 105 yards [to the hole]. That’s exactly the number I had at Hartford in 2013 when I won in a playoff against Chris Stroud. All it was was a 52 (-degree) sand wedge, just hitting the range shot and just focus on it and just do that. A great memory of that win, and obviously I hit a good shot here as well.”


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It is always great to see golfers support other golfers and share their victories! What do you make of John Daly’s heart-warming gesture toward his friend? Do drop your comments below.

Watch This Story- John Daly Once Feared His Actions Would Make Him Lose His Years-Long Contract With Popular Fast-Food Chain

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Written by:

Riya Singhal


One take at a time

Riya Singhal is a promising golf writer at EssentiallySports. She was recently recruited in the latest round of ‘ES Draft’ as one of the young writers with a strong passion for golf writing. Despite being in her early days, Riya has already showcased exceptional talent in her coverage of the sport, with her article on Brooks Koepka's kind gesture towards a young fan after his Masters loss quickly rising to the top of the charts.
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Edited by:

Prateek Srivastava