November 10, 2011
The casual golf fan absolutely loves watching John Daly when he's in the tournament field. Want to know why? It's because he's the everyman golf pro; sure, he's going to have his moments of sheer brilliance, but sooner or later you know he's going to do something that will make you say "Hey, I could do that."
Well, friends, Daly had another one of those moments on Thursday at the Australian Open. Playing in the event on a sponsor's exemption, he had the opportunity to pocket a nice check at a world-class tournament in Oz.
But in typical Daly fashion, he found a way to ruin the tournament's generosity in spectacular fashion. After knocking his ball into a bunker on the 10th hole, Daly inadvertently hit the wrong ball out of the sand -- hard as it is to believe, the ball he hit was actually one from the range -- to take a 1-stroke penalty. That's where things went horribly wrong.
Frustrated with the penalty on the 10th, Daly came unglued after hitting his first ball into the water on the par-5 11th hole. After taking a drop, Daly then hit six more balls into the water. For a brief moment, it seemed like golf fans were watching a real-life "Tin Cup" moment.
The only problem was that unlike Kevin Costner's character, Daly didn't hit his seventh, and final, ball on the green. It found the water, leaving Daly without a ball. He immediately shook the hands of playing partners Hunter Mahan and Craig Parry and stormed off the course.
"[W]hen u run out of balls u run out of balls. yes, I shook my player's partners hands & signed my card w/rules official," Daly tweeted on his Twitter account.
Things got even worse when Daly's girlfriend, Anna Cladakis, took a swipe at a television camera, leading the Golf Channel announcers to lament the entire situation, as a camera followed Daly off the course.
Of course, tournament officials were extremely unhappy with Daly's antics. Trevor Herden, the tournament director for the Australian Open, told reporters at the tournament that Daly wouldn't be coming back to Australia anytime soon.
"I would say this would be the last time we see John Daly," he said.
Taking things to an even lower low, Brian Thorburn, CEO of PGA of Australia, made it clear that Daly shouldn't even bother hanging around to play the Australian PGA Championship, on a special invitation, in two weeks.
"The PGA does not need this kind of behavior tarnishing the achievement of other players and the reputation of our tournaments. John is not welcome in Coolum," Thorburn said in a statement.
If Daly hadn't burned all of his bridges yet, he certainly burned every one of them in Australia. There used to be a time when Daly was one of the marquee names in the game, but in recent years, he's turned into nothing more than a sideshow that people come to mock.
This was another incident that made you realize he's no longer good enough to contend on a weekly basis. If anything, he's just wasting a spot in the field. Running out of golf balls in a professional tournament should tell everything you need to know about the state of Daly's game. He's turned into a complete joke.
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