SYDNEY – It seems John Daly has finally worn out his welcome in Australia, as well as his supply of golf balls.
The long-hitting American bolted The Lakes Golf Club after hitting into a water hazard adjacent the 11th hole seven times and informing his playing partners he did not have any more golf balls. He was 7 over through 10 holes.
Daly wrote on Twitter, “when u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player’s partners hands & signed my card w/rules official.”
It’s a familiar move for Daly, who hit six balls into a lake at the 1998 Bay Hill Invitational and signed for an 18 on the hole, and his actions drew a strong response from officials at this week’s Australian Open.
“It is very disappointing for the tournament. It is certainly unprofessional, and I am extremely bitter and disappointed that he has treated this championship this way,” said Trevor Herden, the Australian Open tournament director. “It is becoming a bit of a habit. . . . It is unacceptable and I certainly hope that all the tours deal with it in the appropriate manner this time.”
According to the PGA of Australia Daly’s invitation to the Australian PGA Championship in two weeks has been rescinded.
The incident began on the par-4 10th hole when Daly’s drive flew the green and landed in a bunker. He mistakenly played a golf ball from the practice range that was in a front bunker – practice balls this week have been provided by Srixon, which is the same brand that Daly plays. When he learned of his miscue he was assessed a two-stroke penalty.
“On No. 10 he hit a great tee shot and goes into the bunker and hits the wrong ball,” said Hunter Mahan, who was paired with Daly on Day 1 along with Australian Craig Parry. “I think he was quite frustrated and wasn’t enjoying himself.”
At the par-5 11th Daly’s drive narrowly found the rough and his 7-iron second shot sailed wide and into a lake, followed by six more wayward and wet attempts before he walked off the golf course.
“Once I saw two (golf balls) go in the water the effort went down pretty fast so we just kind of kept walking,” Mahan said.
Although Mahan said the incident was “not the most respectful thing,” Parry was more forgiving.
“He had the right club, he would have reached the green but the wind was blowing pretty hard from left to right,” he said. “I’m sure everyone would like to walk off at some stage in their career.”
If Australian officials have their way, the controversial American won’t get that chance again in one of their events.
Watch Round 2 of the Australian Open on Golf Channel Thursday at 8PM ET.