Monday 23 October 2017

I’m off: John Daly storms out of Australian Open

AUSTRALIAN Open tournament director Trevor Herden has hit out at John Daly, calling him "unprofessional" after the American stormed off the course midway through his first round today.

Daly's troubles began on the 10th when he reacted angrily to receiving an automatic two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball in the bunker.

The two-time major winner then reached the 11th and proceeded to put six or seven balls - officials were not sure of the exact number - in the water before grabbing his young son and heading for the exit after telling his playing partners "I'm off".

"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 tweeted as a means of explanation.

Herden said Daly will never again be welcome at the Australian Open.

"It's very disappointing, obviously, for the tournament (and) certainly unprofessional 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 are definitely disappointed in that attitude and that behaviour. It's unprofessional.

"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 volatile 45-year-old.

"They need to deal with it. He's a tour member on the US Tour and on the European Tour he also has a status, so they need to deal with this in a most serious of fashions," Herden said.

"We can't fine him because ... he's not a member of ours, but we want it dealt with properly."

PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn echoed Herden's disappointment, confirming Daly did not receive an appearance fee to play at The Lakes and revealing the American's invitation to play the Australian PGA Championship has been revoked.

"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 and the Australian PGA Championship," Thorburn said.

"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.

"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 getting in his face.

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