No flash in the pan: Daly returns to Aussie Open

Aug 18, 2009 - 6:51 AM SYDNEY(AP) -- John Daly is set to return to the Australian Open a year after being fined for smashing a fan's camera into a tree during the tournament.

Golf Australia announced Tuesday that the two-time major winner is in the field for the tournament at Sydney's New South Wales Golf Club from Dec. 3-6.

"I am looking forward to returning to play the 2009 Australian Open and am particularly excited about playing the course at La Perouse for the first time. I have heard so many great things about the course," Daly said in a statement.

Daly, the 1991 PGA Championship winner and 1995 British Open champion, has a strong following Down Under, although his image might have altered when he flies back to Australia due to his dramatic weight loss following lap-band surgery.

He will play the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, on Queensland state's Sunshine Coast, the week after the Australian Open.

Daly received a suspended fine from the PGA of Australia at the last Australian Open after taking a spectator's camera and throwing it at a tree at Royal Sydney's 9th hole. Open organizers took no action, saying Daly had been bothered by the man, who was taking photos at close range despite the fact the general public was banned from taking cameras onto the course.

Daly missed three consecutive cuts last year on a late-season trip to Australia, where his history extends back seven years at Coolum. After taking a triple-bogey 7 on his last hole at the 2002 Australian PGA championships, Daly threw his putter and ball into a greenside pond and later failed to sign for a 78 on his scorecard, disqualifying himself from the tournament.

He was later fined by the Australasian PGA Tour and was ordered to write a letter of apology to a tour official he verbally abused.

Daly recently returned to the U.S. PGA Tour following a six-month suspension for several off-course incidents.

He played mostly in Europe in the interim but recently played six tournaments in a row in five countries leading into last week's PGA Championship in Minnesota, where he withdrew after a 78 in the first round.

He cited an injury he said dated back three years to when he tried to stop mid-swing when he heard the sound of a camera as he was taking a shot.

"Flash camera back injury from 3 yrs ago still haunting me - pain is just unbearable making it tough to play," he posted on Twitter.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!