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John Daly avoids fine for PGA outburst

Daly threw his putter and ball into the water near the 18th green. Then he shook hands with his playing partners and walked alone up the fairway to his villa on the course.

Daly was through for the afternoon - and for the tournament - after shooting a 78 Friday to complete a sad, frustrating few days at the Australian PGA.

Playing a week after his mother's death, Daly was disqualified for failing to sign his scorecard following a second round in which Jarrod Moseley shot a 6-under-par 66 to take the lead.

Daly was fined $5,600 by the Australasian PGA Tour, according to a tour official who spoke on condition of anonymity. He also was ordered to write a letter of apology to the tour official he verbally abused, and to his playing partners, Craig Parry and Greg Norman. Daly wrote the letters before he left Australia on Saturday morning, the tour official said.

Divers searching for lost balls at the 18th green lake retrieved Daly's ball and putter, both of which will be added to a memorabilia collection in the Hyatt Regency resort clubhouse. Daly donated his bag and clubs to the Australian branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Australasian PGA Tour operations director Andrew Langford-Jones said that while the tour did not appreciate Daly's unacceptable behavior, Daly apologized when the two met.

"We don't condone what John did out there, but he came out here under a lot of pressure, and he pulled a lot of people to the tournament," Langford-Jones said.

Daly's appearance fee was believed to be about $200,000.

Daly was upset with an official's ruling on the 13th hole and played the final six holes in 9 over. He refused to sign his scorecard, resulting in his disqualification.

This sort of display was all too familiar for Daly, who on top of his meltdowns on the course has battled problems with drinking, eating and gambling.

"It was vintage Daly, but I forgive him," tournament promoter Tony Roosenberg said. "It's been a very difficult week for him."

At the 1997 U.S. Open, Daly walked off the course after the second round without telling his partners. In 1992, at the Australian Masters, he was disqualified after failing to sign a scorecard. A year earlier in Jamaica, he was disqualified for signing an incorrect card.

Daly was playing his third straight week in the Asia-Pacific region. He was to fly to the United States for the funeral on Monday of his mother, Lou, who died Nov. 21 from cancer at 65.

Daly had said he would dedicate a victory this weekend to his mother. He has never won in Australia.

Daly appeared in good position to play this weekend when he made the turn in 4-under 32 and was in 50th place despite his opening 75.

He bogeyed Nos. 10 and 11 and birdied 12. Then his hopes faded on the 13th when he had a 7 on the par-4 hole.

Daly's tee shot went into the water along the left side of the fairway. A rules official was called when partner Craig Parry questioned the accuracy of Daly's assessment of where the penalty drop should be placed.

After watching the shot on a TV replay, the PGA rules official agreed with Parry and asked Daly to take the drop much farther back toward the tee. Daly drove off the fairway and put his next shot back in the water to the right of the green, ending up with a triple bogey.

Before the ball entered the water by the green, it hit an official's cart. But tour officials said later the ball was destined for the water anyway and the cart - in place to make a ruling for a group still on the green - did not fundamentally change Daly's shot.

Partner Greg Norman said he agreed with Parry on where Daly should take the drop.

"They called me over to find out where the ball crossed over, and Craig and I both felt the same," Norman said.

Parry added: "I thought the ball always landed where we made him drop it. J.D. thought it crossed the hazard further down. ... No one wants this. It's just one of those things."

Daly made another bogey on the par-5 15th, a double bogey on 16 and a triple-bogey on 18. After hitting out of the sand, he failed to clean his ball or set up his putt before two-putting for 7.

He then flung his putter about 30 yards into the pond. After Norman putted out, he pretended to do the same before consoling Daly on the side of the green.


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