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Daly storms out of Oz Open

2011-11-10 08:08

Sydney - Volatile American John Daly stormed out of the Australian Open midway through Thursday's opening round, in a move described by tournament officials as unacceptable and unprofessional.

The two-time major winner, nicknamed 'Wild Thing' and with a history of blow-ups in tournaments, shook hands with his playing partners, Craig Parry and Hunter Mahan, and walked from the course on the 11th hole following a triple bogey seven at the previous hole.

Championship director Trevor Herden said Daly had incurred a two-shot penalty for hitting the wrong ball out of a bunker on the 10th hole and then put "five or six balls" in the water on the 11th hole.

Daly was seven-over-par in his round at the time of his implosion.

"He's walked straight off the golf course with his son beside him, got in a courtesy car and gone straight back to the hotel," Herden said.

"It's very disappointing for the tournament, certainly unprofessional and I am extremely bitter and disappointed that he has treated this championship this way."

Daly, 45, has a history of pulling out during tournaments and Herden urged the world's golf tours to "deal with him in a serious fashion".

In September, Daly stormed off the course at the Austrian Open following a dispute with a tournament official about a drop at the 15th hole.

"It's becoming a bit of a habit, something similar happened recently but it's unacceptable and I certainly hope all the Tours deal with it in the appropriate manner this time," Herden said.

Amid criticism of why he was playing at the Open given his notoriety, Herden said as a major winner Daly had deserved a place in the field.

"We have to pay him respect, too, even though his time has moved on, he's still a major winner and he likes to come back to Australia and we'll have major winners," he said.

"But I will say that this is the last time we will see John Daly."

Herden said the world tours needed to deal with Daly, while the PGA of Australia said it would be referring the incident to its disciplinary committee.

"This afternoon's actions by Daly in withdrawing from the course constitute a breach of the PGA Tour of Australasia's regulations and will be referred to the disciplinary committee as soon as practically possible," Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia, said in a statement.

"In view of that breach and a similar instance in Europe recently the PGA Tour of Australasia has withdrawn its offer to John Daly to play at the Australian PGA Championship (later this month).

"The PGA does not need this kind of behaviour tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments. John is not welcome at Coolum."

Thorburn said that no appearance money had been paid to Daly to play in the Australian Open.

Daly smashed a spectator's camera and hurled it against a tree during the first round of the 2008 Australian Open at Royal Sydney and had an infamous meltdown at the 2002 Australian PGA Championship at Coolum when he threw his putter and ball in a lake and stormed off the course.

AFP

Comments
  • bernard.ingram - 2011-11-10 09:47

    Behaving like a typical rich brat! Have you got any fans left Daly?

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