PGA allows injured Daly to use cart at major

Two-time major champion John Daly is worried he might get a hard time from the fans when he tees it up in this week’s US PGA Championship at Bethpage Back outside of New York.

That’s because the popular American has been granted a special medical exemption to play in a golf cart when he competes in the second major of the year.

John Daly John Daly (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

Yet Daly admits he simply couldn’t play, let alone be competitive, if he had to walk the course.

The 53-year-old suffers from osteoarthritis in his right knee and would definitely have pulled out if the cart had not been approved by the USGA.

He’ll become the first player since Casey Martin in 1998 and 2012 to be allowed to play in a cart.

Martin, of course suffered from a circulatory disorder in his right leg, but still went through hell with authorities before being allowed to play in a cart.

Daly admitted his right knee was ‘screwed’.

“I had the meniscus cut out. I have osteoarthritis so bad…I can walk up a hill, I just can’t walk down one,” said the big fellow, who these days confines his play mainly to the US Seniors tour.

“I hope I don’t get a lot of grief from the fans,” he said. “My knee is screwed.”

Daly applied to the PGA of America for a cart under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

In a statement provided to The Washington Post, the organisation said his request was “reviewed and approved” by its medical staff after he provided the requisite information.

A PGA spokesman said Daly would use a cart with no roof.

He has been allowed to use a cart on the seniors’ tour, which now allows that but as a past winner of the US PGA Championship he is eligible to play in the tournament as long as he is able.

Daly withdrew from last week’s Regions Tradition, a Champions Tour event in Birmingham, Alabama, explaining that he had been suffering from “massive dizzy spells” and was also a diabetic.

“The whole thing [stinks],” he said.

“Florida sends me a handicap sticker when I’m there. It’s embarrassing. But I can’t walk more than six holes before the whole knee swells up and then I can’t go anymore.”