Daly defends Australian Open episode

An Australian Open scoreboard shows an incomplete score for John Daly after he walked off the course during the first round.

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MELBOURNE, Australia — John Daly says while he regrets walking off the course during the first round of the Australian Open last week, he had little choice after running out of balls.

The two-time major winner hit seven balls into the water on the 11th hole Thursday before quitting at The Lakes in Sydney.

Speaking at a Pro-Am in Melbourne on Monday, Daly said: “Of course I regret it. But at the time there wasn’t much I could do.”

An Australasian tour panel is expected to hold a disciplinary hearing this week to consider the incident and decide on possible disciplinary action.

On Thursday, tournament director Trevor Herden described Daly’s actions as “unprofessional,” saying officials would have fetched more golf balls if asked.

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