Daly 'disappointed' at 18-over-par round of 89

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John Daly, Open champion at St Andrews 12 months ago, displayed the erratic side of his nature in the second round of the Dutch Open yesterday. The game's biggest hitter has not put all his professional problems behind him as he proved with an extraordinary 18-over-par round of 89 at Hilversum.

He reached the turn in 15-over-par 51, which would not have pleased a club rabbit in a monthly medal competition. And following an opening round of 75 yesterday, he finished with a 36-hole aggregate of 164. It left him 22 over par and 33 shots behind the leader, the Irishman Des Smyth, who shot a second round 67 for 131.

Even more intriguing was that Daly made his horrific score in ideal conditions for golf - pleasant sunshine with hardly a breath of wind. He also started early, when the greens were at their best.

His outward half included a four-over-par nine at the fourth hole, where he twice went out of bounds, a treble-bogey seven at the sixth where he was in a bush before three-putting, two double-bogeys and four bogeys.

Yet throughout his nightmare, Daly looked calm and outwardly untroubled. Only at the 15th, where a camera crew tried to take pictures, did he become annoyed and then only because he did not want his playing partners, Irishman Philip Walton and New Zealander Frank Nobilo, to be disturbed.

He was clearly in an emotional state, however, as he signed his card, and the normally amiable American left the course without a backward glance or a comment of any kind.

Later, his manager, Bud Martin, issued a statement which read: "John is obviously disappointed with his round today. He was quite enthusiastic about playing in the Dutch Open and takes great pain from being unable to play before the Dutch fans this weekend.

"He gave today's round all he had, but obviously it was not enough. John hopes to have the opportunity in future to return to Holland and perform for the courteous and knowledgeable fans who are among his favourites." Neither Dutch officials nor Martin would confirm that Daly was paid appearance money estimated at pounds 67,000.

Walton was sympathetic to Daly. "John was a perfect gentleman all the way round and tried on every shot," said the 34-year-old Irishman. "It didn't affect my golf at all."

Walton shot 68, as did Nobilo, and both finished on five-under-par 137.