Two-time major golf champion John Daly quit the Australian Open after hitting several balls into a water hazard on the 11th hole of his opening round.
Daly, who was 7-over-par after 10 holes at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, hit about six balls in the water on the 11th hole before walking off the course, getting in a courtesy car and going back to his hotel, Championship Director Trevor Herden said in a news conference.
“It’s very disappointing obviously for the tournament and certainly unprofessional,” Herden said. “I’m extremely bitter and disappointed that he’s treated this championship this way. It’s unacceptable. I certainly hope that all the tours deal with it in the appropriate manner.”
The PGA Tour of Australasia, which co-sanctions the Australian Open with the OneAsia Tour, said Daly’s actions had constituted a breach of regulations and will be referred to its disciplinary committee “as soon as practically possible.” It also withdrew its offer for Daly to play at the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum in Queensland later this month.
“The PGA does not need this kind of behavior tarnishing the achievements of other players and the reputation of our tournaments,” Brian Thorburn, chief executive officer of the the PGA Tour of Australasia, said in a statement. “John is not welcome at Coolum.”
Daly, who in 1993 was suspended for four months for picking up his ball and quitting in the middle of a round during a tournament in Hawaii, said he shook hands with playing partners Craig Parry and Hunter Mahan before signing his card.
“When u run out of balls u run out of balls,” Daly said on his Twitter feed.
“If you run out of golf balls, and you are acting in a professional manner, you will call a rules official and we will get the type of ball he is playing with and replenish his stock,” Herden said. “We can do that. For him to treat it as ‘‘that’s it’’ and ‘‘see you later,’’ that’s not good enough.”
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