When the news first broke that John Daly had himself a "Tin Cup" moment and walked off the course at the Australian Open having run out of balls, let's just say that nobody was particularly surprised. After all, Daly has a bit of a rep, to put it mildly; the guy is at the point in his career where he could take a bite out of a greenside bunny rabbit and nobody would be particularly shocked.
The particulars are here, but suffice it to say that Daly melted down after first hitting the wrong ball out of a bunker and then pounding balls into a lake. And, as he explained this week in advance of the Hong Kong Open, via Reuters, he shouldn't be the only one to share the blame.
He focused on the 10th hole, where he hit that wrong ball. And here's the thing: It was a freaking range ball.
"The question I keep asking is, what were range balls doing in the bunkers out on the championship golf course?" he said. "When I got to the bunker I thought it was my ball. I'm using Srixon balls and the balls on the range were also Srixon. Everybody complimented me, saying 'great shot' but when I get up there [to the green], my caddy wiped the ball and threw it back to me but it wasn't my ball."
Daly conceded that he hasn't exactly made it easy on himself in Australia: "I accept if you look at my past competing in Australia that the way I was treated was not harsh," he said, "but if they were to have looked at really what went on at the 10th hole then it was harsh."
He also tried to clarify that he didn't "storm off" the course, but rather "walked off," and added that while he was booted from the Australian PGA, he's still allowed to play in the country. He took a shot at Robert Allenby over a 2008 incident in which Daly smashed a fan's camera -- "He defended me saying I did the right thing but then when he speaks to the press he says exactly the opposite" -- and added that he'll still keep playing as long as sponsors will have him.
And his fans will continue to turn out. At least now they know to catch him in the early rounds ... you know, just in case.
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