John Daly kicks off feast of Aussie golf

JOHN DALY could be more than just a sideshow when he arrives on Australian shores this week to spice up the start of the summer golf season.

Daly, who artfully manages to combine being a highly gifted two time major winner while keeping up a train wreck of a personal life, shot his best round of golf in three years on the final day of the Hong Kong Open yesterday (Sunday).

He had eight birdies to finish one off the course record on the tight Hong Kong Golf Club course.

He was already out of tournament contention having followed up opening round consecutive 68’s with a deflating 73 on Saturday.

Without a US PGA Tour card for two years, Daly says one of his problems of late has been not playing in enough consecutive big time tournaments.

With a tendency to go to Hooters rather than practice, Daly needs the consistent big game play to keep his game together.

“I can’t remember the last time I had three weeks in a row that I could play,” Daly says. “That’s probably why I’m hoping to get a lot of invites in the European tour and play four, five, six in a row. That’s the only way I can play good golf.”

First, we have the 30th Australian Masters kicking off in Melbourne on Thursday. The following week we have the Australian PGA (Dec 4-7) at Coolum and then the Australian Open at the Royal Sydney Golf Course from December 11-14.

 

 

Apart from ably demonstrating in Hong Kong that despite being rated World No 788, he can still put an exceptional round together, Daly also proved his public pulling power.

If he keeps his shirt on, his putter out of the water and his nights in reasonable order, he could be something to watch.

But whatever Daly’s golfing performance over the next two weeks in Australia (his schedule didn’t allow staying for the Australian Open), his inclusion has already served to further heighten interest in what should be a fascinating summer of golf.

First, we have the 30th Australian Masters kicking off in Melbourne on Thursday. The following week we have the Australian PGA (Dec 4-7) at Coolum and then the Australian Open at the Royal Sydney Golf Course from December 11-14.

Most of Australia’s big name players will be appearing at some stage.

Nick O’Hern has just been ruled out for the duration with a thumb injury, Aaron Baddeley has a new baby to contend with, and Geoff Ogilvy and Adam Scott will miss the first week but not the next two.

Stuart Appleby, Robert Allenby, Matthew Goggin, Nathan Green, Richard Green, Peter Lonard, Craig Parry, Rod Pampling, John Senden and Peter Senior will be among the other starters.

The Australian contingent at the Masters will be further strengthened with the participation of Scott Strange, winner of the 2008 Wales Open and fellow West Australian, Rick Kulacz who won the Brunei Open in his rookie year on the Asian Tour.

In addition, Jarrod Lyle, Greg Chalmers, Aron Price and Marc Leishman, all winners on the Nationwide Tour en route to progressing to the 2009 PGA TOUR will play. 

The home grown talent will be challenged by a strong international line up including 2005 US Open Champion Michael Campbell from New Zealand, dual PGA TOUR winner Daniel Chopra from Sweden along with two time member of the International Team at The Presidents Cup and three time European Tour winner, Tim Clark from South Africa.  These proven champions will be joined by one of the games brightest young stars in Danny Lee from New Zealand.  Danny is the current United States Amateur Champion and the #1 ranked amateur in the World.

Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke, regarded as one of the game’s best ball strikers, will be the main overseas draw for the Australian Open at Royal Sydney.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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