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American star John Daly will continue playing in the US$1.5 million BMW Asian Open here despite learning news of his mother's death.

The two-time Major winner was told of his mother's passing away, who succumbed to cancer, late Thursday but pledged to continue playing in the BMW Asian Open, an event jointly sanctioned by the European Tour and Asian PGA-run Davidoff Tour.

In a statement issued by Daly, he said: "Unfortunately, I learnt while I was playing the first round that my mother has passed away. Before leaving on this three-week trip, I spoke to my mum and her words and wishes were that I should play in China, Taipei and Australia.

"I am very saddened that my mother has passed away and I hurt, not only for myself but also for the rest of my family. However, I will grant my mum's wishes and continue to play here."

However, Daly, who played in last week's TCL Classic in China but missed the cut, is expected to withdraw from the Australian PGA Championship in Coolum, Australia next week to attend his mother's funeral in the United States.

"I do not know yet about playing in Australia but I will be talking to my brother and he will let me know the exact time and day for the funeral. I would like to thank the Ta Shee Resort and BMW for all their support," said Daly.

In yesterday's first round at Ta Shee Golf and Country Club, Daly shot a two-under-par 70. He was due to tee off his second round at 11.45am alongside Jose Maria Olazabal of Spain and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.

India's Jyoti Randhawa carded a 65 to hold a one-stroke first round lead ahead of Irish Ryder Cup star Padraig Harrington, Dutchman Maarten Lafeber and Sven Struver of Germany. The BWM Asian Open ends on Sunday.

Daly has been a star attraction at the BMW Asian Open. In the Pro-Am dinner on Wednesday night, he performed two songs from his upcoming album and earned rapturous applause from guests. He sang "Knocking on Heaven's Door" and "I'm going to find it", his own composition.


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