Daly was immediately banned from this month’s PGA Championship at Coolum and has almost certainly hit his last competitive ball in Australia following his extraordinary meltdown at The Lakes.
The two-time major champion hacked seven balls into the water on the 11th hole and was heading for an inconceivable 18, at least, on the par-5 before calling it quits and retreating to his Sydney hotel in a tournament courtesy car with his son. Daly was already seven over par after taking a two-stroke penalty on the 10th for hitting the wrong ball out of a greenside bunker.
It was the second time in three years Daly had embarrassed Open officials after the former US PGA and British Open winner smashed a spectator’s camera during the first round at Royal Sydney in 2008.
Tournament director Trevor Herden said the American’s behaviour was unacceptable and indicated the 45-year-old walking headline was unlikely to ever be welcomed back to an Australian event.
“I’m extremely bitter and disappointed that he’s treated this championship this way,” Herden said. “Now it’s becoming a bit of a habit … I certainly hope that all the tours deal with it in the appropriate manner this time.
“We are definitely disappointed in that attitude and it’s unprofessional.”
Daly’s girlfriend was also involved in a physical altercation with a cameraman, but the American insisted it wasn’t her fault.
“He ran into her and hit her head to try and get a shot, uncool,” Daly tweeted.
Daly was suspended from the US PGA Tour for six months in December 2008 for “conduct detrimental to the game’s image” after being found intoxicated outside a Hooters restaurant. He was forced to sleep it off in a US jail cell.
The PGA Tour of Australasia is powerless to suspend or fine Daly because he is not a member, but will advise counterparts in America and Europe to take stern action over the latest of a string of incidents that have dogged his 20-year professional career.
“I think they’ve just about had enough of it,” Herden said.
“We’d want it dealt with properly – to protect this sport, the image of this championship … we’ve got the best field ever and he wants to treat it like this, it’s just not good enough.”
Daly claimed he was unable to continue his round because he was out of balls.
“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,” he tweeted.
But Herden flatly refused to accept Daly’s excuse.
“Well, if you run out of golf balls and you’re acting in a professional manner, you will call a rules official and we will get the type of ball you’re playing with and replenish his stock. We can do that,” he said.
“For him just to treat as ‘that’s it and see you later’, that’s not good enough.”