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Daly is first US golfer back in Europe

John Daly took a private jet to Germany, the first prominent American golfer to travel to Europe for a tournament since the terrorist attacks.

Daly is competing at the Linde German Masters, which starts Thursday.

``I'm still scared to get on a commercial airliner,'' he said Wednesday. ``I don't care what people say -- that it's the safest way to travel with the security we have now -- but I still don't believe it.''

Tournament organizers were unable to persuade Tom Lehman to play in the German event because of security concerns.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Tiger Woods pulled out of the Lancome Trophy in France, and the Ryder Cup in England was postponed a year.

Organizers said they negotiated for nine days with Daly's advisers and have promised him special security precautions.

``In the end we've convinced them it's worth his while to start here,'' said tournament director Erwin Langer, the brother of two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer.

Langer would not specify what extra security measures will be used.

Daly won the BMW Open in Germany last month, tying a European record by finishing at 17-under-par 271. The victory ended a six-year title drought for a player whose career has been marked by gambling and drinking problems.

Daly will face 10 of the 12 European Ryder Cup players who were supposed to play at The Belfry, along with defending champion Michael Campbell of New Zealand and U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa.

Security precautions are not the only problem facing organizers. The Gut Larchenhof course has been flooded with heavy rain in recent days. Downpours last year shortened the event to three rounds.


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