John Daly is well known for his on-course antics, temper and his tendency for withdrawing — or at the Austrian Open on Friday, storming off the golf course following a disagreement with officials over where he should have taken his drop after hitting his ball in the hazard on the par-3 15th.
Daly chucked his club in the pond and finished the hole, making a double-bogey. He was then approached by an official, who thought Daly took a drop from the wrong place and informed him that he would probably receive a two-shot penalty.
“If you play from a wrong place, and it’s a serious breach, then there could be a disqualification. But we always try to avoid this,” referee Andy McFee told Sky Sports, according to Reuters.
“When I knew it was not a serious breach I said ‘You can carry on John’. But John did not want to do that.
“He said ‘What’s the penalty?’ I told him it was a two-shot penalty, at which point he said ‘I’m done.'”
Here’s a clip of a video of Daly arguing with an official. At least he shook hands with his playing partners, Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez and Austria’s Martin Wiegele, before he walked off the course.
“It was a strange situation,” said Wiegele in a must-watch interview on the EuropeanTour.com. “It took qute a long while and it was hard to stay concentrated and stay in the flow…it was a pity. It was not a bad thing what really happened. All three of us thought the rule was a bit different than the drop he took. Then he was really angry about it, which is understandable. It kept us a bit from carrying on play.”
Asked if the young Austrian knew about Daly’s antics while he was growing up, Wiegele, who managed to stay focused and shoot a five-under 67, said, “Yes I did, he was one of my playing heroes when I was little and lots of people say he’s one of the most talented players ever in the planet and you can see his genius on the course, actually, but you could see the not nice parts. It seemed like he gave it up a little bit and that’s not the best thing to do, but you could see the flash of genius.
“Before he seemed to be pretty calm and even after yesterday, being four-under and then finishing two-over, he didn’t say any bad words or anything, so I thought he was calm and I told people that he’s not a guy swearing or throwing clubs and then he showed a different face today.
“It was not a nice situation. But somehow understandable that he got really angry. He was really unlucky the hole before. We all thought it was a good tee shot, but maybe the wind was a little bit different direction and it ended up in the water. And the next hole he thought he wasn’t in the water, then he finished up there, too, so he got really angry.”
How many chances has Daly gotten? I’ve lost count. He is still a huge draw at tournaments, though. At the Travelers Championship in June, I was amazed that he had the largest gallery — he wasn’t close to being in contention, but there were about 200 people living and dying by every shot he hit.
Daly can be slapped with a fine by both the European Tour and PGA Tour for his unprofessional conduct — club-throwing and walking off the course not due to injury.