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More controversy surrounds John Daly

John Daly is skipping the year's final two PGA Tour events to take care of personal issues, a top Tour official said Saturday.

Chief of operations Henry Hughes and Bud Martin, Daly's agent at SFX Sports, both denied a report that Daly was barred from the Tour until he seeks treatment for drinking.

SportsTicker, citing sources it did not identify, reported that commissioner Tim Finchem issued an ultimatum, and that Daly complied by returning to alcohol rehab.

``There is no absolutely no ultimatum that he can't play, and it's categorically false that he has entered rehab or even contemplating going to one,'' Martin said.

Daly withdrew from the Funai Classic at Disney about two weeks ago, and he is not in the field for the Chrysler Championship next week, the final full-field event of the year.

Since August, the two-time major winner has missed the cut three times, withdrew from three other tournaments and was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard in another.

However, he won the Korean Open two weeks ago for his first victory since the 2001 BMW International Open in Germany.

``John has voluntarily taken himself out of the last two events of the year to focus on other issues in his life,'' Hughes said. ``There was no ultimatum from the commissioner. He's not in rehab. It is not mandated. None of that is true.''

Daly has twice been in alcohol rehab since his stunning victory in the 1991 PGA Championship, where he first introduced his ``grip it and rip it'' style.

The last time came in 1997, although he resumed drinking again in 1999, a decision that cost him a $3 million contract with Callaway Golf.

The latest blow in his personal life came this summer when his wife, five days after giving birth to his son, was indicted along with her parents on drug and illegal gambling charges in Mississippi.

His victory in the Korean Open came out of nowhere. Daly had not made a cut since he tied for 38th in the Buick Open.

He withdrew from the 84 Lumber Classic when he started hyperventilating, later receiving treatment for dehydration. In his last PGA Tour event, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, he routinely backhanded putts and hit a one-handed shot out of the rough on his way to an 83, his fifth round in the 80s this year.

Daly is 169th on the PGA Tour money list, although he is exempt for two more years because of his victory in the 1995 British Open.

``I think everyone is concerned about John because he's had so many high and low points,'' Hughes said. ``We'll work with him.''

Martin said Daly plans to play in the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge during the silly season, and might play the Australian PGA Championship in early December.

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