Date: November 26, 2008
Author: Angus Morgan

Daly defuses rift

A charming and gracious John Daly has gently defused the fuss over fellow professional Stuart Appleby&aposs description of him as a &apostrain wreck&apos. “A train wreck? Did anybody survive? I&aposm still surviving the train wreck,” was the two-time major winner&aposs disarming response. “Hell, if I&aposm a train wreck, then I&aposm doing pretty good. It&aposs not as bad as people see.” Appleby was critical of Daly&aposs invitation to compete at the 2008 Australian Masters at Huntingdale starting on Thursday, believing it was prompted as much by a morbid fascination in Daly&aposs chaotic private life as an interest in his prodigious talents. But the easygoing Daly was unfazed when invited to respond at a packed media conference at Huntingdale on Wednesday. The 42-year-old, whose ranking has slipped to 603 in the world, claimed not to have been aware of what Appleby had said, but that the Australian was entitled to his opinion. “My goal here is to play good golf and hopefully bring people out here and maybe that would make Stuart feel a little better,” Daly said. “Whatever his feelings are towards me, that&aposs just an opinion more than anything and everybody has the right to speak their opinion.” “I don&apost know how he feels about me. I don&apost know Stu, I just know he&aposs a great player.” “I&aposm not worried about it and I don&apost have nothing against Stuart at all, Stu&aposs a good guy.” Daly said that while his immediate goal is to claim an XXXXL-sized yellow jacket on Sunday, his longer-term aim is to work his way back into the top 50 on the world rankings and that the European Tour would be his primary platform next season. He said his slide in the rankings had more to do with a succession of &aposbrutal&apos injuries over the past two years rather than upheavals in his private life which he described as &aposjust fine&apos at the moment. Surgery last August to repair rib fractures, he said, had freed up his swing and he comes to Huntingdale with the impetus of his final round 62 in last week&aposs Hong Kong Open behind him. But as positive as he&aposs feeling right now, Daly said he likes to keep life in perspective. “Everybody goes through ups and downs in life and unfortunately mine are more publicised than most,” he said. “Not every day is a great day.” “I&aposm a fighter, I&aposm a survivor and I&aposll get through anything people can throw at me.” “I&aposve done a lot of stupid things that I take responsibility for but a lot of it wasn&apost come upon me, but that&aposs life.”