John Daly’s request to use a golf cart at the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush has been denied by the R&A, and despite not being pleased with the decision, Daly maintains he will still compete in the tournament. Daly requested the cart due to pain caused by bicompartmental degenerative arthritis in his right knee, a diagnosis which doctors have confirmed. 

The 1995 Open champion has been granted use of carts in the past, recently applying for one at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May through Americans with Disabilities Act. Daly would end up missing the cut at Bethpage. 

“Quite disappointed they do not see it the same way our PGA of America and PGA Tour sees it,” Daly said on social media. “Different continents different laws???

“… While I trust the R&A’s decision was made with good intentions, I could not disagree more with their conclusions.”

Daly has revealed that his pain makes walking difficult, and the veteran golfer is in need of a knee replacement. Being such a large course, Daly, and others, are worried about him lasting for its entirety. He added in his statement, “fingers crossed I can make it thru the pain.”

The R&A would later elaborate on its decision to deny Daly the use of a cart. 

“We have carefully considered the request from John Daly to use a buggy at The Open,” the statement read. “We appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition. Having considered all of the relevant factors, the Championship Committee has decided to decline his request.”

The 53-year-old Daly believes anyone who “earned the right to compete should be afforded that right to compete and give their best shot.” The R&A, on the other hand, thinks walking the course is crucial. 

“We believe that walking the course is an integral part of the Championship and is central to the tradition of links golf which is synonymous with The Open. We must also ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field.” They added that the course was not fit for golf carts and is not allowed at the location.”

Many are not surprised by this ruling, as they were some negative responses to the PGA’s decision in May to allow Daly’s cart usage. Prior to Daly competing at the PGA Championship with the assistance of the cart, Tiger Woods even weighed in with his displeasure regarding the ruling. There is still no blanket protocol for those requesting assistance at tournaments. 

The 2019 Open Championship gets underway on July 18 at Royal Portrush Golf Course in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. 

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