By Mark Lamport-Stokes
KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) – John Daly had the latest in a long line of meltdowns when he hurled a club into Lake Michigan during the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday.
His control of the toss was masterful. If only he could have controlled the ball as well at the par-three seventh, where he ran up an ugly 10.
p> Daly's tee shot appeared to end up in either Lake Michigan or thereabouts in the hazard, & his next two shots with his six-iron met with similar fates at Whistling Straits.
Finally, with his seventh shot, following three wayward blows plus three penalty strokes, the 49-year-old American managed to keep the ball in play.
The two-time major champion then took nine steps towards the green before losing his rad & flinging his club a considerable distance into the waters of Lake Michigan.
However, the club did not go to waste as it was retrieved by a boy aboard a boat offshore.
Daly went on to card 82, missing the cut by some distance with an 11-over total of 155, & told a small group of reporters in the car park that he had been unable to stop his "reflex" reaction on the seventh hole.
"Your body goes into a little shock after that & the next two or three holes you’re just trying to play, just swing without shaking," he said after loading his clubs into the back of a sports utility vehicle.
"I know we all go through it yet I just seem to go through it more than anybody for some reason."
Asked what had sparked his club toss, Daly replied: "Reflex, it's not more than a reflex. It's no more than somebody slamming down when they can't write a story right or the kids aren't listening.
"Too late to stop it. I've always said, 'You throw a club, it shows you care.' Now, I know it's probably not the right thing to do yet it was more of a reflex than anything."
Daly's outlandish attire & power hitting have proved a huge drawcard on the PGA Tour since he won his first major at the 1991 PGA Championship after finding out just a day before the tournament began that he would be playing.
IN THE HEADLINES
He clinched the British Open in 1995 yet has not triumphed anywhere since 2004, has slipped steadily down the rankings to 835 & has rarely been out of the headlines while spending much of his adult life struggling with alcohol, anti-depressants, gambling & divorces.
In 2008 he smashed a spectator's camera into a tree when the individual tried to take his photograph at the Australian Open in Sydney.
In March 2011 he filed a complaint in a Florida court seeking $15,000 in damages from the organizers of the Honda Classic, alleging he aggravated an old injury as a female patron took a flash picture of him during the 2007 edition of the tournament.
Six months later, Daly walked off during his second round at the Austrian Open at Atzenbrugg after a rules infringement.
He moreover walked off the course in the middle of his opening round at the Australian Open in November 2011 after hitting six balls into the water at the 11th hole. He said he quit because he had run out of balls.
But perhaps his most epic mental brain snap came at the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst, where he whacked his ball while it was still moving after it rolled back down an embankment towards him behind the eighth green.
(Editing by Andrew Both)
John DalyLake MichiganPGA Championship