DOHA, QATAR | John Daly, coming off a fourth-place finish at the Commercialbank Qatar
Masters Sunday, told officials that he plans to
base himself on the European Tour this year,
The Independent reported.
The 45-year-old cited a lack of playing opportunities in the States for the switch.
Daly, ranked No. 543 in the world, remains
a big draw and the European Tour will, in most
respects, be delighted with his presence. Yet,
despite cleaning up his lifestyle, Daly’s discipline remains a concern.
However, in a recent meeting, the two-time
major champion assured the Tour there will be
no repeat of the farce at the Australian Open
last November when he stormed off the course
mid-round, claiming he had run out of balls.
Winner Paul Lawrie is putting together a
season to rival the Scot’s banner year of 1999
when he won the Open Championship and the Qatar Masters.
Beginning with a second-place finish at the season-end-ing Dubai World Championship,
the 43-year-old has reeled off
four-straight top- 10 finishes. He
placed 10th at the season-opening Volvo Golf Champions at
Fancourt, followed by eighth
at the Abu Dhabi HSBC
Golf Championships and
last week’s repeat win in
His run of good play has moved him back into
the world’s top 50 for the first time in eight years.
It was a case of what have you done for
me lately. Less than seven months since his
thrilling Open Championship victory at Royal St
George’s, Darren Clarke has parted company
with his caddie, John Mulrooney.
Clarke has struggled from the outset of the
2012, finishing 20th in the limited-field Volvo
Golf Champions at Fancourt and then shot
72-81 to miss the cut by a wide margin at the
Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The 81
represented the Irishman’s worst round on the
European Tour in five years.
Clarke and Mulrooney paired by chance at
last May’s Mallorca Open when Mulrooney’s
player, David Howell, withdrew and Clarke’s
then caddie Ricci Roberts went to Orlando to
attend Ernie Els’ induction into the World Golf
Hall of Fame. Clarke gave Mulrooney the job
full-time after a win in Mallorca.
The tournament was reduced to 54 holes
after wind gusts of 35 mph forced the stop-
page of play on Friday, allowing only
three hours of play. It was decided
to call off play for the day at 2 pm
and announced soon afterwards
by tournament director David
Probyn that the sponsors did
not want the event to extend
into Monday. l