The 148th Open: John Daly denied permission to use golf cart at Portrush
Former Open champion has buggy application rejected but will 'give it a shot' at Portrush
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 06/07/19 11:58pm
John Daly will attempt to "play through the pain" after his request to use a golf cart during The 148th Open was turned down by the R&A.
Daly was permitted the use of a cart for the PGA Championship at Bethpage in May, when he claimed he struggled to walk more than six holes on any course due to a chronic knee condition.
The 1995 Open champion insisted he would not be able to compete at Royal Portrush later this month unless he was able to drive himself around between shots, but the R&A has now rejected his request.
An R&A statement read: "We have carefully considered the request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open. We appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition. Having considered all of the relevant factors, the Championship committee has decided to decline his request.
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"We believe that walking the course is an integral part of the Championship and is central to the tradition of links golf which is synonymous with The Open. We must also ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field.
"The terrain at Royal Portrush is not suited to buggies and indeed the club itself does not permit their use. We have a serious concern that some parts of the course, where there are severe slopes and swales, would be inaccessible.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly but we believe it is the right one for The Open. John has a special place in our hearts as a Champion Golfer and he will always be welcome at the Championship both at Royal Portrush and in future."
Daly then took to social media to express his disappointment at the decision, but the 53-year-old remains intent on taking his place in the field for the final major of the year, which returns to the historic Portrush links for the first time since 1951.
The two-time major champion said: "Quite disappointed they [the R&A] do not see it the same way as PGA of America and PGA Tour sees it. Different continents, different laws?
"As a proud Open champion I know what the Open Championship represents and what a special tournament it is. I believe all who have earned the right to compete should be afforded that right to compete and give it their best shot.
"While I trust the R&A's decision was made with good intentions, I could not disagree more with their conclusions," added Daly, who also revealed he had been diagnosed with "bi-compartmental, degenerative arthritis of my right knee" which could require knee-replacement surgery in the future.
"My plan is to give it a shot at Portrush. Fingers crossed I can make it through the pain. See you in Ireland."