Daly withdraws after photo seeker causes injury

March 01, 2007
PGA TOUR staff

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -- John Daly was injured trying to stop his backswing after being distracted by a fan taking his picture, forcing him to withdraw from The Honda Classic after only two holes Thursday.

PGA TOUR officials said Daly injured his rib area, along with his shoulder. The severity or exact nature of either injury wasn't known.

The fan, who was not identified by the TOUR, is a resident of the PGA National complex where the tournament is being held and, because she lives on-site, it wasn't clear if she went through standard security screening. She was unaware of the tournament's no-camera policy, Honda executive director Ken Kennerly said.

"Like the rest of us, she is devastated that her use of a camera resulted in an injury to John," Kennerly said. "We will continue to examine all options in our effort to eliminate cameras and cell phones from the course."

Daly, playing in a threesome with Shigeki Maruyama and Joe Ogilvie, started on the back nine and parred his first two holes before getting to the 12th tee with one of the day's largest galleries in tow.

The clicking could be heard almost at the same instant he started his backswing. He stopped and reportedly stared at the woman before trying to swing again, but immediately complained of pain and walked off to seek treatment in the TOUR's medical trailer.

He declined comment afterward.

"All he said to us was, 'I'm done,'" Ogilvie said. "It wasn't good."

Daly, who always draws massive crowds, was in the field on a sponsor's exemption. He's won five times on the PGA TOUR, including the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open, but had made only two cuts in his five events this season before The Honda Classic.

"The Honda Classic couldn't be more sorry about the unfortunate injury. ... People were genuinely excited to watch John play today," Kennerly said.

Charlie Wi had the first-round lead after shooting a 5-under 65, one shot better than Bernhard Langer and two better than Ogilvie, Marco Dawson, Robert Allenby and Cliff Kresge.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.