â€œThe Walking Headline”, John Daly, didn’t disappoint the media contingent on day one.
At the final hole of his disappointing round, Daly blew his top when a spectator got too close with his camera. Daly grabbed it from the spectator’s hands and smashed it to pieces on a nearby tree trunk, shouting, “You want it back, I’ll buy you a new one”. After signing his card, he stormed from the course.
If Daly’s round hadn’t been a major disappointment, perhaps he would’ve been posing for photos rather than destroying the evidence. The roller-coaster ride in Australia continued with Daly carding a disappointing six-over 78 that included three double bogeys, three bogeys and three birdies.
Daly is almost certain to miss his third straight cut in Australia and, yet, may face sanction from the PGA tour of Australasia.
Mathew Goggin, Stephen Dartnall and Ewan Porter scorched around the treacherous layout on day one to share a two-shot lead after hitting course-record equalling seven-under 65s, which matched John Senden’s low round set in 2006.
Coming off the back of his runner-up finish at last week’s Australian PGA Championship, Goggin hit six birdies on the front nine to set up his round, while Dartnall – who fired a 62 in Monday’s qualifying to earn his start – carded six birdies and an eagle on the day.
In a long overdue return to form, Porter birdied his final two holes to join Goggin and Dartnall at minus seven. Porter was delighted with his form reversal. “This is a total surprise. I’ve been up and down the whole year, but the last six months has been miserable,” he said.
Goggin obviously feels more comfortable with his game. “I feel like I believe in myself a lot more,” Goggin said.
Australian Masters winner Rod Pampling shot 67 for the day. John Senden, the 2006 winner, ensured his place in the highlights reel for day one by landing a spectacular ace on the par-three 13th to briefly storm into the lead and then end the day as one of the six players at minus three.
US PGA Tour player, South African Tim Clark, remains within striking distance at minus two. In the morning action, American Paul Goydos showed tenacity to recover from a shaky start to his round with a 71, as did the gritty Robert Allenby.
After slipping early, pre-tournament favourite Geoff Ogilvy recovered with four late birdies to finish at even par. Popular Euro PGA player, Darren Clarke also showed recovery powers, after a disastrous triple bogey on his second hole of the day – the par-four 11th, by finishing even par as well.
Good scores may be harder to come by in Friday’s second round, with rain and high winds forecast.