Notes Daly Damages Flag Putts w Wedge

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2005 PGA ChampionshipSPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- John Daly has so much power, he could probably drive with a putter. At the PGA Championship on Saturday, he proved he could putt with a wedge.
 
Daly made the unorthodox move after the head of his putter came loose on the back nine of his third round, and he putted with his wedge on holes 11 through 18.
 
``I rolled it pretty good. I couldn't get it to the hole, but the other putter was knocking it 10 feet by,'' Daly said with a laugh.
 
Daly's caddie wanted to replace the putter, but the 1991 PGA champ declined.
 
``I'm tired of replacing it,'' Daly said after an 8-over 78. ``It's happened about 10 times this year.''
 
Daly started the day tied for 23rd, and, boosted by a raucous gallery, he seemed poised for a charge.
 
He birdied the first to get to into red numbers but gave the stroke back at the second. He made a double-bogey at No. 3 and birdied the sixth.
 
Then he fell out of contention with a bogey at the seventh and a double at the ninth.
 
Daly struggled mightily on the back nine, posting three straight bogeys from Nos. 10-12, and two more at 14 and 15.
 
He did manage to birdie the 650-yard 17th, becoming the only player to reach the green in two shots for the second time in two majors at Baltusrol. He missed his eagle chance and had a tap-in birdie with his wedge.
 
Daly was the only player to reach the green in two shots during the 1993 U.S. Open.
 
``This cost me,'' Daly said. ``I knew the scores were going to be high. I thought if I could just go out and shoot even par or somewhere under par I could still win the tournament, but the head came loose again, and here we go.''
 
He won't be competing for the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday, but he will be working toward the future.
 
``I might have three or four putters in the bag tomorrow, just to find something to putt with next week,'' he said.
 
``Hey, it'll happen. Something good will happen,'' Daly said. ``We'll get it right. It's unfortunate this has happened so many times this year, especially in the majors. It's just tough to build a two-piece putter.''
 
CLUB PROS
Steve Schneiter, an assistant pro from Sandy, Utah, had the best round of the four club pros who made the cut. He shot a 2-over 72 and moved to 6-over 216.
 
Ron Philo Jr., whose caddie is his sister, LPGA player Laura Diaz, had a 73 and was 7 over.
 
Darrell Kestner, the head pro at Deepdale Golf Club in Manhassett, N.Y., moved to 10-over after a 78, and reigning club pro champion Mike Small, the men's golf coach at Illinois, struggled to a 10-over 80 and fell to 12-over after a second-round 68.
 
HERE TODAY ...
Less than a day after a 40-foot tree limb fell next to the fourth green and injured three men, there was little evidence that the red oak even existed at Baltusrol Golf Club.
 
Late Friday, course workers began cutting down the tree, and by the start of the third round all that remained was a large dirt pile.
 
``It was totally gone,'' Tiger Woods said. ``I thought they just cut off the limb, but you could see it was pretty rotted on the inside and maybe should have been taken out earlier.''
 
On Friday, the limb fell moments after Woods played his third shot on the par-3 hole. The crowd was reacting to Woods' shot, which spun back toward the pin, and a roar went up as the branch began tearing away from the tree.
 
With the tree in place, Woods played the hole in 2 over. On Saturday, he made a par.
 
The PGA said the tree was removed as a precaution.
 
DALY AT 17 -- DAY 3
John Daly delivered the power display fans hoped for at the 650-yard 17th.
 
For the second straight major at Baltusrol Golf Club, Daly became the only player to reach the par-5 in two shots.
 
On Saturday, he launched a lengthy tee shot and hit a 3-iron from 279 yards that settled on the green. The head of his putter came loose earlier on the back nine and Daly, putting with his wedge, settled for a two-putt birdie.
 
The 1991 PGA champion played the hole as a three-shot par-5 in the first two rounds.
 
At the 1993 U.S. Open, when the hole was 20 yards shorter, Daly was the only player to reach it in two shots, hitting 1-iron for his second shot.
 
ACES
Charles Howell III recorded the 35th hole-in-one at the PGA Championship since 1970.
 
Howell posted the 1 on the fourth hole at Baltusrol, using a 7-iron from 193 yards for his first ace as a PGA pro.
 
``That's the first hole-in-one I've had in a tournament. I couldn't think of a better place to have it than a major,'' Howell said. ``It was absolutely the perfect club when I walked on the tee because it had a little bit of wind helping.''
 
Hale Irwin (1975, 2004), Scott Hoch (1989, 2001) and Peter Oosterhuis (1976, 1982) have two aces in PGA Championships.
 
The PGA said information is incomplete prior to 1970.
 
CELL BAN
It took a few days, but the spectators at the PGA Championship finally seemed to get the message: No cell phones.
 
Two days after the PGA of America banned cell phones and Blackberrys, spectators relented, if somewhat reluctantly.
 
``You feel kind of a little naked,'' said David C. Shappell, 27, of Bloomsbury, N.J.
 
Bins overflowed with phones early in the week at the gates to the club. Bruce Paterson, chairman of Baltusrol's Tech Committee said some 5,000 cell phones were checked at the gates during the three days of practice rounds, leading the PGA to institute the ban and end phone check-ins.
 
On Thursday, phones were tossed on the ground, prompting the ban to be scrapped. However, if the checkers run out of space, spectators will face the choice of returning to their cars -- which could be difficult because nearly all fans are taking shuttle buses from satellite lots -- or leaving their phones on the street.
 
Although cell phones have been barred at PGA Tour and PGA Championship events for about seven years, there usually isn't such a commotion, tournament director Andy Bush said.
 
``In this market, it's more a way of life,'' Bush said of the New York area.
 
ON THE MARK
Mike Small, vice president of the New Jersey section of the PGA, played with Vaughn Taylor in the first group in the third round of the PGA.
 
With 79 players making the cut, Taylor played with a marker for the first time.
 
``It had a different feel,'' Taylor said after a third-round 1-over 71. ``We had a good time, and I think Mike had the time of his life.''
 
Taylor was right.
 
``Other than being named the golf pro of the year in the New Jersey section two years ago, this is my biggest thrill in golf,'' said Small, director of golf at Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough, N.J. Section president Mickie Gallagher was his caddie.
 
DIVOTS
The total purse for the championship is $6.5 million, with $1.17 million to the winner, an increase from $6,225,300 and $1.125 million last year.
 
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