On the longest hole in the history of the U.S. Open, with thousands of spectators looking to see if the impossible could be achieved, John Daly did what nobody had been able to do:
He reached Baltusrol Golf Club's famous 630-yard, par-5 17th hole in two shots Friday during the second round of the 93rd U.S. Open.
Amazingly, Daly did it without using a fairway wood. After hitting his drive 323 yards to the left side of the fairway, Daly had 282 yards to the front of the green and 287 to the pin.
Using a 1-iron, Daly blasted his second shot toward the green, and it landed short and in the rough, bounced up onto the putting surface and scooted toward the back of the green to a huge roar.
Daly carries only a driver and no fairway woods. He doesn't need anything else. He figured the 1-iron shot traveled 300 yards.
"I hit two of the best solid shots I ever hit in my life," Daly said. "I've been hitting the 1-iron so badly and that's why I hit a driver (off the tee). I just happened to catch it real solid and get it home.
"I've been playing so badly that I told my caddie that if I reach 17 at least I'll make history."
Daly did more than that. He got himself in contention with a birdie on 17 and the par-5 18th. His 68 gave him a two-day total of 140, six shots behind second-round leader Lee Janzen.
Almost two years after Daly's improbable PGA Championship victory, galleries still go crazy over his length and power. He has no explanation for how far he hits a golf ball.
"I don't know, I don't know," he said. "I guess the whole body works together and I've kind of got a long backswing, which has something to do with it."
Daly said he was able to get the extra distance on the 1-iron by adjusting the ball position. "I put the ball back in my stance," he said. "I play it like a 9-iron and hit down on it."
Until Friday, no one had ever reached the green on the longest hole in U.S. Open in two. No member, no pro during a practice round. No one, period. And this is the seventh U.S. Open at Baltusrol.
Sandy Lyle had the distance Thursday but missed the green by 10 yards.
Daly said he has been aware of the mystique surrounding the 17th since arriving here earlier this week.
"When I got here on Tuesday that's all the volunteers and marshals wanted to talk about," Daly said. "That's all they cared about. They just said, "I want to see you hit it in two.' "
Daly came up just short in practice and he didn't have a shot at it Thursday after his tee shot found the rough.
Daly said he has reached holes longer than the 17th at Baltusrol in two, noting the 640-yard first hole at Castle Pines just outside of Denver.
However, that hole is downhill and in high altitude. The 17th at Baltusrol has an uphill approach.
"I know I did it," Daly said, when asked if he wanted to watch the shot again on television. "It's a good feat but I don't want to see the lucky bounce I got."
_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.