Daly and the wheel. John Daly was not allowed to play on a golf cart!
All these years the Open Championship served as a benchmark for the observance of the great Game spirit, its traditions, and Rules. And even the venues of the tournament always corresponded to these basics! Links keep the very essence of the Game.
However, this year another attack was launched on the foundations and traditions. It was initiated by the 1995' Golfer of the Year John Daly. He asked R & A for permission to play at the Open Championship on a golf cart, citing the fact that he has serious problems with his right knee.
John Daly. Photo: Getty Images
Together with the cherished Claret Jug, Daly received the right to participate in The Open until he reached the 60th anniversary. However, the right to play does not mean the obligation of the organizers to provide the participant with privileges.
In the States (characterized by special loyalty), Daly easily won the right to steer on the Bethpage Black fairways during the PGA Championship. It was enough to refer to the 'Americans with Disabilities Act' - the law protecting the rights of people with disabilities.
However, Scotland did not succumb! In response to Daly's request, the organizers stated that R & A is sure that moving on foot is an integral part of the Open Championship and is an important tradition of golf on links, which, in turn, is synonymous with the Open Championship!
“In addition, we believe that all Championship participants should be on equal footing,” said an official R & A statement.
R & A has shown commendable firmness in this matter. That causes respect and some confidence that golf will not follow the path of biathlon, for example ...
By the way, not everyone in the states liked the “flexibility” of the PGA Championship organizers. Tiger Woods did not fail to recall that he walked with a sore knee.
Daly, of course, did not like the R & A solution. “Different continents - different laws?” He asked. No, John, the law is one in golf and it should not depend on the "continents"! This was clearly demonstrated.
R & A is happy to make exceptions to its rules when it comes to the benefit of our beloved Game. So, despite all the strict bans on admission to the tournament players over 60 years old, an exception was made for the five-time holder of the Claret Jug Tom Watson. He was granted the right to play in the Open Championship at the age of 65.
Tom Watson Photo: Getty Images
And by the way, he played on the tournament on foot!
So John Daly announced that he would come to Royal Portrush in July and play on foot.
And if he wants and is able to enter the Scottish links in the Open Championship 2027, it is possible that an exception will be made for him. Especially, if he has 5 - 6 Claret Jugs by this time.