British Open organizers refuse request by Daly to use cart

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FILE – In this May 17, 2019 file photo, John Daly drives his cart off the 16th tee during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament, at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y. Organizers of the British Open have refused a request by former champion John Daly to use a golf cart at the championship in Royal Portrush this month. Daly had applied to use a cart because of his arthritic right knee. The R&A said it was declining the request because “walking the course is an integral part of the championship and is central to the tradition of links golf.” It said it was important to “ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field.” (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, FIle)

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Organizers of the British Open have refused a request by former champion John Daly to use a golf cart at the championship in Royal Portrush this month.

Daly had applied to use a cart because of his arthritic right knee.

The R&A says it was declining the request because “walking the course is an integral part of the championship and is central to the tradition of links golf.” It said it was important to “ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field.”

The governing body says Portrush in Northern Ireland was not suited to golf carts, and was concerned that “some parts of the course, where there are severe slopes and swales, would be inaccessible.”

In its statement released Saturday, the R&A said “we appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition.”

The PGA of America allowed Daly to use a cart at this year’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. He was the first player to ride in a cart at a major since Casey Martin in the U.S. Open at Olympic Club in 1998 and 2012.

Reacting to the R&A’s decision, Daly said on Twitter he was “quite disappointed” and he “could not disagree more with their conclusions.”

Daly, the 1995 champion at St. Andrews, says he is aiming to take part in the British Open nonetheless, adding “fingers crossed I can make it thru the pain.”

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