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John Daly to play in Heineken Classic

American John Daly will join Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, defending champion Michael Campbell and Colin Montgomerie at the US$1 million Heineken Classic in Melbourne in January, organisers have said.

Daly, 35, who has been treated for alcoholism in recent years, has shown mixed form in previous appearances in Australia.

The 1995 British Open and 1991 USPGA champion was not easy to secure this time, promoter Tony Roosenburg said.

"We finally signed up the "Wild Thing' but he made it very difficult for me," Roosenburg said.

"Anyway we got him over the line.

"I think this (Royal Melbourne) course is so suited to him, especially if he takes his driver and keeps it in play which he has been doing lately."

World number 29 Michael Campbell of New Zealand, who won the Classic twice when it was played at The Vines in Perth, Western Australia, is also part of the field for the jointly-sanctioned Australasian and European tour event, Roosenburg said.

Campbell is defending champion.

South African Els is ranked fifth in the world while Britain's Montgomerie, the 2001 Australian Masters champion in Melbourne, is ranked 11th.

Norman, the former world number one, forfeited his full U.S. Tour membership this week to concentrate on business ventures.

Norman can play as many times as he likes on the European tour as an honorary member.

Roosenburg announced on Tuesday that BMW would be the major sponsor of the Heineken Classic, which starts on January 31 next year.


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