Daly takes it out on ball and, after 83, USGA

Ire builds following 11, with penalty, on No. 8

June 21, 1999|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Leave it to John Daly to find his way into the spotlight during a round of 83.

The PGA Tour's most controversial, and troubled, player did it again in yesterday's final round of the 99th U.S. Open here at Pinehurst No. 2.

Daly took an 11 on the par-4 eighth hole, including a two-shot penalty for whacking the ball as it was rolling back down the hill from the green for the second time.

"I told myself and I told my caddie that if that ball dares come back down the hill, I'm going to do what [Kirk] Triplett did last year -- take my two shots so I just don't go stupid," Daly told NBC commentator Roger Maltbie after the round.

"It's frustrating. I lost my patience. I hit a wedge from 147 yards and just pured it out of there. I was playing pretty good, and to watch it skip and go off the back was frustrating enough."

It was only the latest of Daly's double-digit escapades.

He took a 10 on the 18th hole during the first round of the recent Memorial Tournament, then withdrew after shooting an opening-round 82. He took an 18 on a hole at Bay Hill last year after doing his "Tin Cup" imitation. He took a 12 on a hole at BellSouth in 1996.

Yesterday, Daly didn't sound like a man who'd just finished at 29 over par for the tournament.

"I hit the ball great this week," said Daly, who opened Thursday with a 2-under par 68 to trail the leaders by one. "I hit so many great shots yesterday [Saturday] and then I shoot 81."

And then he sounded like, well, himself.

"I feel it's crazy," he said. "I think the pins were very unfair yesterday. The U.S. Open is not John Daly's style of golf. It seems to prove that way. I grind it out and it seems the more you mis-hit it, the better you're going to do in the Open."

Maltbie asked Daly why he would want to play in the Open in the future.

"Well I don't know if I'll be playing Pebble [Beach] next year," he said. "I just don't think it's worth my time. I just feel that the courses are set up too unfair. I'm not going to Pebble and watch the USGA ruin that golf course, either."

Marty Parkes, senior communications director for the USGA, said that he was surprised by the remarks, given the fact that Daly had praised the course after his opening round and compared it to another course he loved: Pebble Beach.

"Obviously, I can't help but feel for him personally," said Parkes, alluding to Daly's long battle with sobriety and other issues. "If he qualifies for the Open, we'd love to have him, but we're not going to change the course for one player."

Pub Date: 6/21/99

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