Daly to return to Australian PGA

COOLUM, Australia (AP) — John Daly is set to return to Coolum for the Australian PGA, the scene of one of his more illustrious career meltdowns.

Tournament officials said Thursday that Daly, who missed three consecutive cuts last year on a late-season trip to Australia, will play in the Dec. 10-13 tournament at the Hyatt Regency resort course.

``John has a long history with the Australian PGA championship and is exceptionally popular with the Sunshine Coast fans,'' said Max Garske, chief executive of the PGA of Australia.

That history extends back seven years at Coolum, when, after taking a triple-bogey 7 on his last hole at the 2002 tournament, 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 $5,600 by the Australasian PGA Tour and was ordered to write a letter of apology to a tour official he verbally abused.

Daly has lost more than 80 pounds in the last four months after having Lap-Band surgery to curb his appetite. He returned to the 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, culminating in an 88 at the Buick Open, where he missed the cut.

Daly is playing in this week's PGA Championship, the tournament he won as a ninth alternate in 1991. He won his second career major in the 1995 British Open at St. Andrews.

This year at Coolum, Daly and others in the field will play a redesigned course with six new holes. Five holes situated between a nearby coast road and the Pacific Ocean on the original course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., have been earmarked for resort development.

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