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Golf Australia Express : Issue 17
By Damian Shutie OTG Editor VIEW THE SO JOHN Daly has sooked it up again— this time at the Australian Open. Why are we surprised? Daly’s form for petulance is as long as his drives. Surely we’re now over this circus act. The latest in a long string of his on-course controversies began at the 10th hole last week when Daly received an automatic two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball in the bunker. Then on the following hole he nutted six or seven balls—officials are still unsure of exactly how many—into the water before declaring he was out of balls and storming off the course. The 45-year-old American’s behaviour at the Lakes last week was nothing short of despicable, and tournament director Trevor Herden had every right to condemn Daly’s actions as “unprofessional”. Daly’s childish conduct showed a lack of respect to the game, event sponsors, playing partners, fans, and players who’d have killed for the opportunity to play the Australian Open. His pseudo apology following was equally lacking. Of course we all know Daly’s latest petulant act was not his first on Australian soil. In 2008, he smashed a fan’s camera against a tree at Royal Sydney on his way to a first-round 6-over 78. And at the 2002 Australian PGA at Coolum, Daly threw his putter and ball into a greenside pond at the final hole and failed to sign for a 78 on his scorecard. He was disqualified from the tournament and later fined $5600 by the Australasian PGA Tour, as well as forced to write a letter of apology to a tour official he abused. Daly tours down under have indeed been a sad sight. But the saddest part of the latest saga has barely been touched on. And that is the negative message it sent to the other John Daly present at the time—9- year-old John Daly Jr. Dressed like his old man, it’s clear the younger John (at least in age) idolises his volatile pop. So to be standing there watching his dad ‘crack the sads’ when things didn’t go his own way was an hardly ideal lesson. He’d have heard the crowd boos and heckles, too. While I’m not suggesting Daly would ever be in the running for Father of the Year honours, his lack of awareness around his impressionable boy staggered me. As they say, any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad. OTG TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS: firstname.lastname@example.org DALY DOSE OF PETULANCE Long John’s latest storm-off will hurt more than just his fans. BIG THE HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE STATE OF THE GAME... Q ISSUE 16 POLL RESULTS: WILL STEVE WILLIAMS’ RACIAL SLUR RESULT IN A TIGER COMEBACK? YES 31% NO 69%