Aussie officials lash out at Daly

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Australian Open tournament director Trevor Herden has lashed out at John Daly for storming out of the Australian Open.

Australian Open tournament director Trevor Herden has hit out at John Daly for angrily storming off The Lakes golf course in Sydney midway through Thursday’s first round and described the colourful and controversial American’s action as “most unprofessional”.

Daly’s troubles began on the 10th when he reacted angrily after he was given an automatic two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball in the bunker.

And it got worse, much worse, when the two-time major winner hit more than half-a-dozen balls – officials weren’t sure whether it was six or seven – at the 11th into the water.

Daly was so upset by the turn of events, he grabbed his young sons hand, told his partners, “I’m off,” headed for his courtsey car in the car par and then drove off after ignoring questions from the media.

“When u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes I shook my players partners hands & signed my card w/rules official,” Daly later tweeted as a means of explanation.

Herden said as long as he had anything to do with it, Daly would never again be welcome at the Australian Open.

“It’s very disappointing, obviously, for the tournament. It was certainly unprofessional of him and I’m extremely bitter and disappointed that he’s treated this championship this way,” Herden said.

“It’s becoming a bit of a habit, something similar happened last week or the week before, but it’s unacceptable and I certainly hope that all the tours deal with it in the appropriate manner this time.

“We’ve got to protect the sport and the image of this championship which is the real thing that I am totally upset with.

“We’ve got the best field ever and he wants to treat it like this, it’s just not good enough.

“I would say this will be the last time we see John Daly.”

While Golf Australia has no powers to fine or suspend Daly, Herden has called on the US and European tours to reprimand the explosive 45-year-old.

PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn echoed Herden’s disappointment and confirmed that Daly had not received an appearance fee to play in the Australian Open and that his invitation to play the in Australian PGA Championship had been wihdtrawn

“The PGA Tour of Australasia confirms that no appearance fees were payable to John Daly for his appearance at the Emirates Australian Open or for his planned appearance at the Australian PGA Championship,” Thorburn said.

“This afternoon’s actions by Daly in withdrawing from the course constituted a breach of the PGA Tour of Australasia’s regulations and will be referred to the disciplinary committee as soon as practically possible.

“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.

“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.”
Two years ago Daly grabbed a spectator’s phone at the Australian Open and smashed it against a tree after accusing the fan of unsettling his performance.

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