John Daly is not welcome at Coolum for the Australian PGA Championship following his Australian Open walk-off in Sydney.
John Daly is not welcome at Coolum for the Australian PGA Championship following his Australian Open walk-off in Sydney. Stuart Franklin

Daly cool with Coolum ban

CONTROVERSIAL American golfer John Daly says the Australian tour may be doing the right thing if it bans him from playing Down Under.

Daly quit during the first round of the Australian Open at The Lakes on Thursday after running out of balls at the 11th hole where he hit seven balls into the water.

His walk-off prompted a furious reaction from tournament director Trevor Herden who said it was unlikely Daly would be invited back to Australia.

"It might not be bad if they ban me ... because I've never played well here," Daly said.

"But I do love the people here and this beautiful country. I take responsibility for my actions. I always have and I don't blame anybody but myself."

Daly said he never expected to run out of balls. He added that he was trying too hard and it backfired.

Daly hasn't technically been banned from playing in Australia, at least not yet, but his invitation to this month's Australian PGA Championship has been withdrawn in the wake of Thursday's incident.

PGA of Australia CEO Brian Thorburn sent a statement to the Daily which included a simple finish - "John is not welcome at Coolum."

Daly's appearances at Coolum have been dramatic in the past. In 2002 he threw his putter into the lake and last year he rushed away from the venue after carding a lethargic 11-over par.

But Daly will play in a tour-sanctioned charity pro-am in Melbourne tomorrow and is scheduled to compete in Steve Bowditch's charity day at Twin Waters on November 21.

Craig Parry, who played with Daly on Thursday, came to the American's defence afterwards.

Parry argued that he didn't blame Daly for quitting after running out of balls.

"I like John," Parry said on Thursday.

"I think when he comes out here he does try his best.

"He's a very pleasant guy.

"He doesn't carry on, doesn't swear."

Two days later, the popular Australian continues to defend Daly.

"He plays here for nothing and then we crucify a guy who brings a bit of colour and excitement to our tournaments," Parry said yesterday.



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