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NOTES

Daly Looks to Martin for a Lift

June 19, 1998|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SAN FRANCISCO — John Daly has parked himself in Casey Martin's camp.

"I am rooting for Casey," Daly said. "Anybody that is handicapped and can play on tour and shows some talent, he deserves to have that right and that chance to play."

Besides that, Daly admitted to a selfish interest in Martin's success.

"I hope he gets his tour card because I am going to put my clubs on his cart next year when we are playing practice rounds together. Hell, I may even ride. But I know where my Diet Cokes are going. They're going on his cart."

*

Dudley Hart shot 78 and then withdrew because of a wrist injury, which is nothing new to him. Hart tore ligaments in his wrist in 1995 when his iron struck a tree root. He tried to continue playing and tore two more ligaments. He had surgery after the season.

Tommy Tolles also withdrew, quitting after he pulled a muscle in his back on the sixth hole.

"If it had been any other tournament, I wouldn't have teed it up," said Tolles, who was two over when he quit.

*

Firsts: Steve Pate hit the first ball at the Open--right into the rough. Willie Wood had the first birdie, a 12-footer on the first hole.

*

Jason Gore's second shot disappeared into some bushes to the left of the first fairway and a marshal finally found the ball. Gore moved it two club lengths, took a drop in the deep rough--and holed the shot from 75 yards for birdie.

Kathy Gore, wearing a T-shirt that said, "Gore's Gallery," was impressed by her son's shot.

"Oh, God," she said. "Wait until my heart slows down."

Gore, a member of Pepperdine's NCAA title team, shot a 77.

*

For what it's worth, NBC is covering the Open with 32 cameras, three camera platform trucks and 18 video replay machines.

*

Jack Nicklaus is playing in his 42nd consecutive U.S. Open, but his wife, Barbara, has extended her own streak to 32. The last time she missed an Open was in 1966, also at the Olympic, when her daughter had an accident.

"Nancy had a crayon down her throat," she said.

*

David Duval shot a five-over 75 in his group with Jim Furyk and Colin Montgomerie. To sign their scorecards, they walked down a poorly lighted staircase to the lower locker room.

Asked Duval, "Are they taking us down here to execute us?"

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