Former champion John Daly shoots 89 to miss cut by 20
Vail, CO Colorado
SOUTHPORT, England ” ohn Daly is out of excuses and the British Open after an 89 on Friday left him at 29-over-par for the tournament and a staggering 20 strokes on the wrong side of the cut line.
Daly began the week talking about injuries and blasting former coach Butch Harmon, who ended their brief relationship in March after saying the former Open champion was drinking too much and more interested in partying than practicing. Daly said those remarks cost him endorsements and caused him considerable pain.
His round Friday included a quintuple-bogey 9 and three doubles. He missed an 18-inch putt at the 18th and was cheered by fans who howled when the “Wild Thing” was in his prime and pounding tee shots through the wind and into the distance. He walked off the green, stopped to sign an autograph ” left-handed, while cradling a cigarette in his right hand ” then signed his card and climbed into the back of a waiting car. He declined comment.
LINKS TO THE BOOTH: Four straight bogeys late in his round kept Tom Watson from making the cut. He followed his 74 in miserable weather with a 76 in slightly better conditions, missing a weekend tee time by one shot.
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Next up for Watson is the Senior British Open at Royal Troon, one of five links courses where he won the British Open.
But he won’t be leaving Royal Birkdale just yet.
Watson reluctantly agreed to try broadcasting this weekend and will join ABC Sports as a commentator.
“They asked me to do it, and I said, ‘I don’t want to do that.’ But on the other hand, the British Open is not a bad place for you to do it,” Watson said. “You have a chance to play in it, see the golf course, and tell the viewers what you think of a particular shot. I said, ‘You know what? I probably can do that. Let me give it a try.’ So that’s what I’m going to do the next couple days.”
MONTY PLAYS ON: Colin Montgomerie started his round only three shots out of the lead. He finished hoping to make the cut.
He made it with on shot to spare, overcoming an atrocious start in he had two double bogeys and a triple bogey before reaching the seventh tee. The worst of it was No. 5, a triple bogey from the fairway. After an approach into thick grass, Monty not only whiffed with a wedge, the attempt buried the ball even deeper.
He took a penalty drop and it rolled into a divot.
“I didn’t want to go on,” he said.
But he answered with birdies on his next two holes and wound up with a 75 that at least allowed him to keep playing.
“I’m quite proud that I managed to play the last 12 holes in 2 under feeling the way I did walking off the sixth green, because that wasn’t a great feeling, believe me,” Montgomerie said.
The cut was at 9-over 149, the highest since it was 12-over 154 at Carnoustie in 1999.
Among those on their way home were three players from the top 10 in the world ” Geoff Ogilvy, Stewart Cink and Vijay Singh.
OLYMPIC HELP: Golf has another voice in its campaign to be part of the Olympics ” Jack Nicklaus.
“I’ve offered to help where I can, if I can,” Nicklaus said Friday during a brief stop at Royal Birkdale. “I’m doing golf courses around the world. If golf became an Olympic sport, it would get government financing. It would be a big thing in the world of golf to get financing in a lot of places where golf is not played.”
Nicklaus wasn’t even aware that golf executives had put together a plan and met with IOC officials in May. He said he was in his office Monday chatting about golf and the Olympics when an assistant called the PGA Tour to inquire about the chances. That’s when they learned of an announcement Tuesday at the British Open, in which Ty Votaw was chosen to lead the effort.
“I just told them wherever they need me, I’d be happy to help,” Nicklaus said. “If I’m going to one of these countries and they have an IOC guy they’d like to have me talk to, I’d be delighted.”
VIVE VAN DE VELDE: For the first time since St. Andrews eight years ago, Jean Van de Velde will be playing on the weekend at the British Open. The Frenchman famous for his comical collapse at Carnoustie in 1999 was actually on the leaderboard Friday, just two shots out of the lead, until struggling on the back nine.
He wound up with a 71 and at 4-over 144, was only five shots out of the lead.
“I had it going, but made a couple of mistakes and paid the price for those,” Van de Velde said of his double bogey on the 11th and a triple bogey on the 16th. “But I’m very happy. If it wasn’t for a couple of blemishes, I could have been under par. It’s ‘should haves’ and ‘would haves’ I guess.”
No one knows that better than Van de Velde, who “should” have won the ’99 Open if he “would” have laid up short of Barry Burn on the 18th hole. Then he “could” have avoided a triple bogey on the final hole and perhaps not lost in a playoff to Paul Lawrie.