Putting problems concern Daly at Aussie PGA

By Associated PressDecember 2, 2008, 5:00 pm
COOLUM, Australia ' Six years after throwing his putter into a pond at the Australian PGA, John Daly is having trouble on the greens again.
 
Before heading off for a practice round at the Hyatt Regency resort course Tuesday, Daly said hes tried just about everything to improve on poor putting that plagued most of his play at Hong Kong and at Huntingdale in last weekends Australian Masters, where he failed to make the cut.
 
John Daly
A diver retrieves John Daly's putter after he tossed it in a lake during the 2002 Aussie PGA. (Getty Images)
Im trying new grips, trying to get my posture up, changing the lie and loft, everything I could possibly try, and nothing feels right, said Daly, who spent nearly three hours on the practice green Monday. Its just a matter of keep practicing and sooner or later something might click.
 
Two-time major winner Daly is returning to the scene of one of the most publicized blowouts in his stormy career. At the Australian PGA in 2002, he threw his putter and ball into the pond at the 18th green after his second round and was later disqualified for not signing his scorecard.
 
A scuba diver later retrieved the ball and putter, and it was mounted in the pro shop as a souvenir of the day ' at least until this week. The display has been hidden away from an area near the pro shop which is doubling as a player lounge, just to save Daly any embarrassment.
 
It would mean a lot to me this week to do well, Daly said. My record in Australia hasnt been great.
 
If he does well, it will be due to an improvement with the putter. When he shot a final-round 62 at Hong Kong two weeks ago, he had 27 or 28 putts. Last week at Huntingdale in Melbourne, he shot a 1-over 73 Friday and had 37 putts before not qualifying for the weekend.
 
That means my ball-striking is good, but I just hit some pretty poor putts last week, Daly said. I made a lot of putts I needed to make in Hong Kong, but not a lot outside of 8 feet that a lot of the guys do.
 
Daly says hell play in next weeks Australian Open in Sydney, making it four tournaments in four weeks.
 
Ive said before that I need to play three or four weeks straight to get my rhythm right, and since Im already down here, it makes sense, Daly said.
 
Hes trying to make the best of whats turned out to be a mediocre year, both on and off the course.
 
He spent a night in jail on Oct. 27 after being found extremely intoxicated and uncooperative, police said, outside a restaurant in Winston-Salem, N.C.
 
Daly has not had a PGA Tour card since 2006, when his two-year exemption expired from his last victory at the Buick Invitational in 2004. He made only five cuts in 17 starts on the PGA Tour this year and earned $56,000.
 
In 2009, he plans to play mostly on the European Tour.
 
Before the Australian Masters, Australias Stuart Appleby described Dalys life as a trainwreck.
 
Craig Parry, who played with Daly last week at Huntingdale ' and in the Americans group at Coolum in 2002 before he was disqualified ' is a Daly booster.
 
He is always under pressure for his past, and I feel for the guy, Parry said. Hes got a ton of ability, and it was disappointing to see some players have a go at him for getting an invite.
 
Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, said the sport needs players like Daly.
 
Hes the most colorful character thats played golf in the last 25 years, Ogilvy said. Hopefully he plays 72 holes (this week) and ends with 14 clubs.
 
A less-known fact of Dalys 2002 blowout was that in addition to throwing his putter and ball into the pond, he left behind his golf bag and clubs to the Australian branch of the Make-A-Wish foundation for a charity auction.
 
He is a lovable type of guy and he has a heart of gold, Parry said. Hes just done some silly things. Frankly, I believe he has more ability than the whole field put together.
 
The 42-year-old Daly hopes that ability carries him to a return to a top-50 ranking, and then perhaps another major to add to his 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open.
 
I look forward to the British Open every year, its my favorite major, Daly said. Ever since I first saw St. Andrews in 1992 or 93 I fell in love with Open golf.
 
Daly was asked, if given a choice, hed rather have two majors and the headlines, or one major and a quiet time sitting in an armchair.
 
Two majors, Daly replied, laughing.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Australian PGA Championship
  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.

    PGA Tour suspends Hensby for anti-doping violation

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 8:02 pm

    Mark Hensby has been suspended for one year by the PGA Tour for violating the Tour’s anti-doping policy by failing to provide a sample after notification.

    The Tour made the announcement Monday, reporting that Hensby will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    The statement reads:

    The PGA Tour announced today that Mark Hensby has violated the Tour Anti-Doping Policy for failing to provide a drug testing sample after notification and has been suspended for a period of one year. He will be eligible to return on Oct. 26, 2018.

    Hensby, 46, won the John Deere Classic in 2004. He played the Web.com Tour this past year, playing just 14 events. He finished 142nd on the money list. He once ranked among the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking but ranks No. 1,623 today.

    The Sunshine Tour recently suspended player Etienne Bond for one year for failing a drug test. Players previously suspended by the PGA Tour for violating the anti-doping policy include Scott Stallings and Doug Barron.

    The PGA Tour implemented revisions to its anti-doping program with the start of the 2017-18 season. The revisions include blood testing and the supplementation of the Tour’s prohibited list to include all of the substances and methods on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list. As part of this season’s revisions, the Tour announced it would also begin reporting suspensions due to recreational drug use.

    The Tour said it would not issue further comment on Hensby's suspension.