Daly warms up for Senior British Open BAREFOOT!

2018-07-25 07:52
John Daly (File)

Crail - John Daly has warmed up for this week's Senior British Open at St Andrews by playing barefoot on the nearby Balcomie Links at Crail on Scotland's east coast.

The double major-winner recently underwent surgery on his injured right knee, but despite missing both the US Senior Open and last week's Open Championship at Carnoustie, Daly has declared himself fit to take his place when the Senior Open gets underway at the 'home of golf' on Thursday.

Daly, 52, had bone marrow removed from his right hip and inserted in his knee after he injured himself jumping out of the way of an out-of-control car that struck his motorhome during Masters week at Augusta in April.

"The knee is so much better and I am going to play this week," the American told AFP in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

"My doctor did a great job taking bone marrow from my right hip. He put me to sleep and injected the bone marrow into my knee.

"I'm going to continue wearing the stretch support on my knee but I feel I should be fine for four rounds."

Daly added: "The good thing is St Andrews is not a tough walking course, unlike some of the other courses where they play The Open, so that should help.

"I played a full 18 holes at Crail on Monday and it felt really good. I was driving it well and it was good to get the feel of playing links golf as Crail was a great warm-up for the week."

Daly arrived at Crail without his golf clubs and shoes, both delayed in transit from the United States, so he used the clubs of his manager Simon Hurd, a former member of the European Tour.

However, it didn't deter the 1991 PGA and 1995 Open champion, with Daly managing four birdies in the 10 holes he played bare feet at the 232-year-old Crail course.

Daly's fiancée Anna arrived at the club at 16:45 local time with his clubs and shoes.

She was rushed out to the 11th tee by David Snodgrass, the assistant professional at Crail, and Daly was able to complete his round properly shod and playing with his own clubs.

Daly withdrew after two rounds of the Senior Players Championship in Illinois earlier this month and he was particularly saddened by his absence from Carnoustie.

"I really missed not playing last week and while I've never played Carnoustie well, I did miss playing The Open," said Daly.

"I've only missed three Open Championships since 1992, so that's what made it tough having to sit out the week."

"And with the conditions the way they were, and with the ball running so far on those fairways, I do feel like I could have done well," explained Daly, a renowned long-hitter, of a tournament where Francesco Molinari became the first Italian major winner.

Daly, who beat Molinari's compatriot Costantino Rocca in a playoff to win the 1995 Open at St Andrews, added: "It's why I'm looking forward so much to this week. I've played in five Open Championships at St Andrews and to be going back this week for the Senior Open is pretty special."

Meanwhile, Daly was delighted by the way Molinari, who shot a two-under par 69 on Sunday, despite the pressure of playing the final round alongside Tiger Woods, won at Carnoustie.

"I just thought it was an awesome victory and he's going to be a great Open champion," he said.

"I've met him a few times and while he's a very quietly-spoken person he's been making a hell of a noise of late having been on a roll for some seven weeks now.

"Winning (the European PGA) at Wentworth was pretty good but the manner he won the (PGA) Quicken Loans was very impressive."

Read more on:    john daly  |  golf


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