By Andrew Both
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (Reuters) – John Daly has requested a cart for this week’s PGA Championship because he suffers with arthritis but will be restricted on where he is allowed to drive it, organizers said on Tuesday.
Rain over the past couple of days has left Bethpage Black soft in places and, though it should dry out somewhat before Thursday’s first round, it could still be a problem driving a cart inside the ropes without causing damage to the fairways.
“I will meet with John and just talk through where he can and can’t go,” said the PGA of America’s Kerry Haigh.
“We try and use common sense, what’s reasonable, what’s fair for the protection both of the player… as well as the playing of a major championship.”
Daly, 53, applied to ride a cart under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), citing an arthritic right knee.
“We have an ADA committee which includes a medical expert and they review the information, and it was agreed that it (Daly’s condition) justified the use of a cart for this championship,” Haigh said.
It will be the first major in seven years where a player has not walked and, though 1991 champion Daly is unlikely to make the cut this week let alone contend for victory, the decision to allow him to use a cart does not sit well with all the players.
Six-times major champion Nick Faldo said last week that walking was an integral part of being a professional golfer and Tiger Woods weighed in on Tuesday with a thinly-veiled dig.
“As far as J.D. (Daly) taking a cart, well I walked with a broken leg, so…” said Woods, who did not finish his sentence, figuring he had made his point.
Woods was referring to the 2008 U.S. Open, which he famously won despite a double stress fracture in his left tibia.
Bethpage Black is a long and hilly walk and weary legs will still be a factor.
“There’s going to be a component of stamina as the week goes on,” Woods said. “Four days over a tough championship that is mentally and physically taxing takes its toll.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Ken Ferris)