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“I have always rooted for him,” Woods said. “I have always been a John Daly fan and a friend.”

The support just doesn’t come from Woods. Former U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, tied with Daly at 68, said plenty of pros at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational crowded around the TV to watch Daly challenge at the Reno-Tahoe Open. He wound up tied for fifth.

“I’ve never seen more players more excited,” Ogilvy said. “Everyone wants to see him do well.”

Daly’s had some strong results this year. He was 12th at the Greenbrier last month and came into the PGA Championship off the strong showing in Nevada.

“When I get on a run, six, seven, eight weeks in a row, I feel like I have a better chance of playing well,” Daly said. “It’s starting to pay off a little bit.”

Being the PGA Championship helps, too, giving Daly some good memories of a time when nearly every drive striped the middle of the fairway and every putt rattled the bottom of the cup.

Daly takes heart from the fan support. He even got a hug from best-selling singer, songwriter Darius Rucker. “I love watching John play,” said the frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish.

Will Daly’s good play continue this weekend? He isn’t worried about it.

“If I walk out of here knowing I played the best I can, that’s all that matters,” he said. “And the way I’m hitting it, I just don’t want to get too up or too down about it.”