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Archive for Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Hand injury knocks out Daly

Golfer withdraws from Honda Classic after ‘freak accident’

March 9, 2004

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— John Daly injured his hand by getting it caught in a car door and withdrew from the Honda Classic, his agent said Monday.

"It was a freak accident," Bud Martin of SFX Sports said. "He thinks it will be OK, but better safe than sorry. He wants to give it a week rest and get ready for Bay Hill and The Players Championship."

Martin did not say which hand Daly injured, only that it is not considered a serious injury.

The accident slows Daly's momentum as he tries to qualify for the Masters.

Daly won the Buick Invitational last month, his first PGA Tour victory in nearly nine years, and a tie for fourth at the Nissan Open helped move him from No. 299 to No. 64 in the world ranking.

The top 50 players in the world and the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list after The Players Championship (March 29) are eligible for the Masters.

Daly is eighth on the money list. He will have two tournaments to improve his position in the world ranking and stay in the top 10 on the money list, but he does not have a good record at either Bay Hill or the TPC at Sawgrass.

He has never finished higher than a tie for 15th at Bay Hill, which also is where he once took an 18 on the par-5 sixth hole in 1998 on his way to an 85. Two years later, he closed with an 87.

Daly has never finished higher than a tie for 16th at The Players Championship.

Still, he is playing better than he has in years, with superb control off the tee and great touch on the greens.

"When he's playing well, John can win anywhere," Martin said.

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