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British Open | BRITISH OPEN / DAILY REPORT

Daly Defense Won't Get Stopped Short

July 19, 1996|THOMAS BONK

Mr. Big Shot, the John Daly Story, continued in a big way Thursday at the Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club. Daly, who finished at one-under-par 70, hit his drive 342 yards on the 490-yard par-five sixth hole.

Daly hit his drive even farther on the 553-yard seventh--382 yards.

He birdied both holes and was five under through 11 holes. Although he faltered, Daly wasn't that discouraged.

"It happens," the defending champion said.

Daly drove into a bunker at No. 17 and tried to hit out to the right with a nine-iron, but the ball caromed off the face of the bunker, bounced straight left and nearly dribbled back in.

So Daly decided it was better to look on the bright side.

"Well, I am disappointed, but I'll let it go," he said. "I could still be in that bunker at 17."

*

Excuse me? Fred Couples said if the wind begins to blow, Royal Lytham won't be giving up the kind of scores it did Thursday: "There will be only a hand few of those."

*

Paul Azinger snapped his putter over his thigh after he three-putted the ninth hole, which meant he had to use a sand wedge as a putter the rest of the way.

"I thought 'Good,' then maybe I'll make some putts with my sand wedge."

Actually, he did. Azinger made a 15-footer for birdie on No. 10 with the sand wedge and finished at 74.

*

What was Jack Nicklaus thinking when he reached the 15th tee?

"Hey, you're four under par at the British Open," he said.

Nicklaus didn't stay there for long. He managed to finish at two-under 69 and blamed having to wait for 15 minutes on the tee at No. 15, because right after that, he hit three bad drives.

The first was at the 15th, when he drove into some bushes and had to hack out.

Nicklaus said he needed an hour of treatment for a sore back Wednesday night and underwent 45 minutes more before his round Thursday.

"We'll see how it is tomorrow morning," Nicklaus said.

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