The par-5 sixth hole at Bay Hill is an intriguing hole. At 555 yards, it wraps around a lake that guards the left side of the fairway as the hole doglegs left toward the green. The shape of the hole creates a fascinating possibility of trying to reach the green in three shots, two shots, or, in the rare case, one shot — as John Daly tried in making an 18 on the hole in the 1998 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
You see, the carry from the back tee, across the lake and onto the green is about 335 yards. That’s a long way to carry. However, on the day Daly tried to clear the lake, he had already put his tee shot on the hole in the water. After dropping, the carry had been reduced to an estimated 275 yards. It didn’t go well. Daly took seven tries to get over the water.
“After the fifth or sixth time, I just lost track,” said Paul Goydos, who played with Daly that day. “He just kept going. The crowd started yelling, Tin Cup, Tin Cup…it was fun. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t trying.”
Daly was finally over the water in 13 shots, including the penalty shots. That 13th shot landed in a hazard and buried. His 15th shot was a 6-iron from the fairway that hit the greenside rocks and went into a bunker. He got out and two-putted for 18.
“It was a comedy and a tragedy all in one,” said Tom Watson, who was also in the group.
Since then, other players have tried the shot, albeit not in the tournament. Long drivers, including Jamie Sadlowski, have attempted and pulled off the carry.