John Daly takes a walk, might not be welcomed back

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SYDNEY (AP) - Hunter Mahan knew what was coming.

Anyone who has watched John Daly lose patience, lose hope and eventually lose his temper should not have been surprised. He turned a bad break into something much worse, then walked off the golf course at the Australian Open.

It wasn’t the first time. It might be the last.

Not long after Daly withdrew Thursday, the PGA of Australia said he no longer was welcome in two weeks for the Australian PGA Championship. Golf Australia’s director of tournaments, Trevor Herden, called him “unprofessional” and said while the Australian Open loves to have major champions in the field, “I would say this is the last time we will see John Daly.”

Mahan was walking down the 11th fairway at The Lakes, a 577-yard hole that hugs the waters, when he looked back to see Daly pump two shots into the water while trying to reach the green.

Then came a third. And a fourth. And a fifth. A sixth. A seventh.

“I was thinking of Bay Hill when he dumped a bunch in the water,” Mahan said.

Mahan was still a teenager in Dallas in 1998 when Daly hit six balls into the water on the sixth hole at Bay Hill in the final round and made an 18, the highest score he has recorded.

The only thing that kept Daly from breaking his record at the Australian Open was that Daly ran out of balls. He would have been playing his 16th shot. Instead, he motioned to Mahan and Craig Parry, handed over his scorecard and stormed off the course.

“Once I saw two go in, I think the effort went down pretty fast,” Mahan said. “I thought that’s what we were going to see. And we did.”

Daly was 7-over par through 10 holes.

His career scorecard looks even worse, especially Down Under.

Six months after winning his first major in the 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick, Daly was disqualified from the Australian Masters for failing to sign his card after an 81 in the second round. Five years later, he shot an 83 in the third round of the Heineken Classic and played the final round in 2 hours, 10 minutes, angering tournament officials who paid a big appearance fee.

Then came the Australian PGA in 2002, when he was so disgusted with a triple bogey and a 78, he threw his putter into the lake on the 18th green and was fined $5,600. He also had to write an apology to a tour official he was said to have abused.

That’s just Australia.

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