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John Daly claims Butch Harmon has apologised

Coach Butch Harmon has apologised for sacking John Daly over suspicions of heavy drinking, the twice major champion said on Wednesday.

Harmon parted company with his fellow American, who has plummeted to 595th in the world rankings, after media reports that Daly had been drinking in the hospitality tent of one of his charities at last month’s Tampa Bay Championship.

But the player said he was promoting his charity, not drinking.

“I called him (Harmon) the other day and he said he realised he didn’t get his facts right and he felt bad about it,” Daly told a news conference on the eve of the Spanish Open. “He has apologised to me.

“After what Butch said…my marketability went right down. I told him ‘you cost me quite a bit of money through the stuff that you said, I wish you would have called me then you could have got the facts straight.”

Daly said reports of him partying and drinking were “a bunch of lies”.

“When you’re playing badly they want to make up rumours,” added the 42-year-old former British Open and U.S. PGA champion. “People around me know the good I’m doing.”

Daly said he and Harmon, who coaches several top players and used to guide world number one Tiger Woods, would not be working together again in the future.

The Spanish Open and next week’s Italian Open will give Daly a chance to focus on his game again.

After recently undergoing keyhole rib surgery he hopes to turn around his putting fortunes, his malaise for several years, but doubts whether he will try to qualify for the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in California in June.


May 1, 2008

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