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Daly denied use of cart at British Open

Commentary

Last week, British Open officials turned down 1995 Open champion John Daly’s request to use a golf cart during the upcoming event at Royal Portrush in northern Ireland.

As a former British Open and PGA Championship winner, the 53-year-old Daly is eligible to compete in each event through age 65. Earlier in the year, he successfully petitioned the PGA of America to use a cart during the PGA Championship due to osteoarthritis in his right knee, a condition that makes it hard for him to walk for prolonged periods.

The positive response Daly received here in the U.S. stems, in large part, from a 2001 Supreme Court decision that created a legal precedent under the Americans with Disabilities Act for a golfer with a disability to use a cart in competitions that otherwise ban carts. With no similar precedent in Great Britain, the R&A politely denied Daly’s request to use a cart. In fact, officials there specifically cited the fact that walking was an integral part of their competition. After the R&A’s decision was made, Daly quickly responded via Twitter.

“While I trust the R&A’s decision was made with good intentions,” Daly said. “I could not disagree more with their conclusions.”

Despite his disappointment, Daly initially continued his plans to participate in next week’s Open Championship, hoping his knees would hold up to walking. However, earlier this week, his plans came to an abrupt end.

On Wednesday, Daly was offered – and accepted — a spot in the PGA Tour’s alternative-event Barbasol Championship at Keen Trace Golf Club in Kentucky. According to the PGA Tour, Daly will be allowed to use a cart at that event.

Tiger’s prep work

Tiger Woods announced weeks ago that he would not play any competitive golf events after the U.S. Open while preparing for 148th Open Championship in northern Ireland, scheduled for July 18-21.

While many golfers are already in Europe acclimating to the weather and time differential, Woods has been keeping a low-profile while practicing and preparing at his home base in Florida.

Earlier in the week, the usually private Woods uncharacteristically shared the unusual practice routine he’s been utilizing before he sets off to Royal Portrush. According to an Instagram story from Nike, Woods is waking up in the middle of the night to work out and help his body adapt to the local time of Portrush, Ireland, which is five time zones ahead of the East Coast.

“If you want to get better and you want to win and accomplish your goals, it all starts with getting up early,” Woods said, while wearing a backwards Nike cap and workout gear.

This has already been quite a renaissance year for Woods, especially after winning the Masters Tournament in early April. However, despite the manner in which the 43-year old has rejuvenated his career, I still think winning this year’s Open Championship is asking a bit too much, even with this inspired workout routine.

My pick for next week’s Open Championship is Rickie Fowler.

Local two-ball events

While the region’s best-ball season actually began last month, today marks the start of four consecutive two-ball tournaments at golf courses in the immediate greater-Altoona area.

Sinking Valley Country Club’s 47th annual Classic kicks-off its 54-hole stroke play event this morning. The final round is scheduled to conclude Sunday afternoon at an event where Chris Perry and Mike Macionsky are defending champions.

Next week’s event will be the 52nd Reliance Bank Park Hills Classic.

This historic best-ball tournament is a match-play event with opening rounds held on Friday and Saturday. Winning teams have the opportunity to advance to semi-final matches on Sunday morning followed by the championship rounds Sunday afternoon. Dan Brown and Patrick Rohrbaugh will be defending a championship they’ve won two years running.

Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. He can be reached at gltr777@atlanticbb.net.

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