Australian PGA runner-up Mathew Goggin shared a three-way first-round lead at the Australian Open as American John Daly grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons at Royal Sydney yesterday.
US Tour regular Goggin fired a course record-equaling seven-under 65 to tie for the lead with qualifier Stephen Dartnall and Ewan Porter in benign conditions.
The trio of Australians lead by two strokes from Australian Masters champion Rod Pampling and New Zealanders Mark Brown and David Smail.
But golf’s “Wild Thing” Daly showed his dark side when he grabbed a spectator’s camera and smashed it into a tree amid a stormy end to his frustrating opening round six-over 78, 13 shots off the early lead.
The two-time major winner lies in joint 146th place and appears certain to miss his third straight cut in Australia after self-destructing with three double-bogeys and four bogeys in his dire round.
Daly blew his top on the final hole when a spectator got too close with his camera.
Daly snatched it from his hands and smashed it to pieces on a nearby tree trunk, yelling: “You want it back, I’ll buy you a new one.”
The controversial American will not be punished by Golf Australia, which runs the Open, but may face disciplinary action from the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“We’re reviewing the incident to see if any action is appropriate,” tour commissioner Ben Sellenger said.
■ CAMBODIAN OPEN
AFP, SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Welshman Rhys Davies carded an eight-under 64 yesterday to take the first round lead in the US$300,000 Cambodian Open and promised to make amends for last week’s heartbreak.
Two-time Asian Tour winner Anthony Kang of the US was a shot further back on 65, while Indonesia’s Rory Hidayat posted a 66 to take third place. Thailand’s Chawalit Plaphol was in fourth place on 67.
Compatriot Thongchai Jaidee, Thaworn Wiratchant together with Australia’s Gavin Flint, Malaysia’s Airil Rizman and South Korea’s Park Jae-bum were in fifth on 68.
Davies came agonizingly close to his maiden win on the Asian Tour last week when he lost in a play-off to Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee at the Vietnam Masters.