COLUMBIA — Between scoping out the green and the long silences, the Hickman boys golf team and its opponents hear an occasional "good job" from the Daly cheering section.
That compliment is meant for both sides; golf is a polite sport, after all.
Rock Bridge – 293
Hickman – 330
Helias – 342
Jefferson City - 366
Rock Bridge's top two scorers
Tyler Kolb – 68
Will Echelmeir – 71
Hickman's top two scorers
Cruz Buchanan – 71
Matt Garner – 78
But there was more enthusiasm from the small crowd when Hickman senior Tyler Daly was involved. The Hickman boys golf matches are a family affair for the Dalys.
Grandparents from both sides of the family often accompany Tyler’s mother, Sabra Daly, and his father, Jaime Daly. Tuesday’s match against Rock Bridge, Helias Catholic and Jefferson City was no different.
Fred and Shirley Blythe, Sabra Daly's parents, came out to The Club at Old Hawthorne to follow their grandson for all 18 holes.
In her fifteenth year with Parkinson’s disease, Shirley Blythe takes in every moment of her grandson's last high school golf season.
“I hold my breath a lot,” she said. “I just stop breathing until the ball does what it’s going do. He has his good and bad days, but we do, too.”
Tyler Daly would prefer to have more good days than bad ones, in part because of his vocal supporters.
"I want to make sure I do good for her," Tyler Daly said about his grandmother. "It’s going to suck not being able to have her out here, but it’s something I’ll have to deal with."
However, everyone in Tyler Daly's family doesn't consistently stay on his good side.
"It depends on what kind of day he is having," Jaime Daly, his father, said. "You just have to know your boundaries."
Tyler Daly said, "There’s some days where after the round they’ll come up to talk to me, and if I played bad I really don’t want to be talked to. But they’re here to support me, and that's always good.”
When Tyler Daly made a long sloping putt near the end of what had been a rough day, his fan section applauded.
"If you’re a golfer,” Fred Blythe said after the putt, “Phil Mickelson Jr. is standing right there."
Fred Blythe has a lot of time invested in Tyler Daly's golf game. He got Tyler Daly and his older sister, Ashlee Daly, started playing golf.
“I either get the credit or the blame depending on who you talk to,” Fred Blythe said. “I introduced them to this game so I’d have someone to play with.”
Blythe's desire to have a golf partner paid off.
Ashlee Daly is a junior on the William Woods University women’s golf team, and Tyler will join her next year to play on the men’s golf team.
Tyler Daly credits a lot of his golfing success to his grandfather.
“I started playing with my grandpa when I was around 12, and he definitely helped me out a lot,” said Tyler Daly, who ended up shooting 84 on Tuesday. “Golf is a sport I’ll have for the rest of my life. It’s a hard-working game; you just have to keep at it, even if you play bad like I did today.”
Regardless of Tuesday’s play, Tyler is looking forward to college golf. He'll be joined on the William Woods team by Hickman senior Cruz Buchanan.
“It’s going be a good time,” Tyler Daly said about playing for William Woods next year. “Me and Cruz will be rooming together. It’ll be fun. We’ll all go out and practice together, and it’ll be just like playing here, but I’ll be at William Woods.”