R&A declines John Daly’s request to use golf cart at Open, defiant Daly fires back on Twitter
UPDATE: On Tuesday, the R&A announced that John Daly had withdrawn from the Open Championship and will be replaced by Kevin Streelman. One day later, Daly committed to play the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship instead, where he will be allowed to use a cart.
The R&A will not allow John Daly to use a golf cart during the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush in two weeks, according to an official announcement.
Daly made the request earlier this year, hoping that the use of a cart at Portrush would allow him to defy osteoarthritis in his right knee and play the tournament anyway, despite not being able to walk to course. In the statement released on Saturday, the R&A said that they “carefully considered” Daly’s request, and while they “appreciate the difficulty” of his medical condition, “the Championship Committee has decided to decline his request.”
As for the reasons for their decision, the R&A declared that walking is “an integral part of the Championship,” and that it is their responsibility to ensure that “the challenge is the same for all players in the field.”
Furthermore, the statement reads that venue for this year’s Open, Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, presents specific challenges to using a cart, including the rolling terrain and the club’s standing policy against the use of carts.
Daly was quick to comment on the news, releasing a long response on Twitter.
Daly wrote, “Quite disappointed that [the R&A] don’t see it the same way our PGA of America and PGA Tour sees it. Different continents different laws???”
Daly is referring to the fact that a similar request to use a cart at the PGA Championship in May was accepted by the PGA of America tournament committee. Daly played with a cart at Bethpage Black, where he shot 75-76 to miss the cut.
“While I trust the R&A’s decision was made with good intentions,” Daly continued, “I could not disagree more with their conclusions.”
Daly added that he recently went to his doctor in Pittsburgh who “reconfirmed bi-compartmental (medial and patella femoral) degenerative arthritis grade 3-4 of my right knee.” In addition, Daly claims that he “will need either uni-compartment or total knee replacement” to manage the problem.
But the 53-year-old veteran pro, who earned his spot in the event via his 1995 Open win at St. Andrews, ended his statement on a hopeful and defiant note, stating that he plans on trying to play in the Open at Portrush anyway, even without a cart.
“Fingers crossed I can make it thru the pain,” Daly wrote. “See you in Ireland, Grip it & Rip it! JD”
The 2019 Open Championship kicks off at Royal Portrush on Thursday, July 18.
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