John Daly’s use of a golf cart at the PGA Championship ended up being one of the wildest, most unexpected headlines from Bethpage Black. The 53-year-old and 1991 PGA champion was granted use of the cart under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) with osteoarthritis in his right knee.
As a past winner of the Open Championship, JD is hopeful to be playing at Royal Portrush in July, and it appears there’s a chance we might see a golf cart in use at the Northern Ireland links, too. Yes, really.
The R&A confirmed a golf.com report on Thursday that the ruling body is considering Daly’s application to use a golf cart at golf’s oldest major. Here’s the statement from the R&A spokesperson: “We have received a request from John Daly for permission to use a buggy at The Open and it is currently under consideration.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean Daly’s request will be granted. Golf carts, or buggies, as they’re often referred to outside the United States, are not commonly used on links courses. Most golfers in Europe, particularly, walk when they play, and the old links courses aren’t designed with cart paths as newer courses in the United States are. So a golf cart would be an abnormal sight in those parts, and perhaps not as well-received as it was at the PGA Championship. It’s not known whether a golf cart has been used at an R&A championship before, let alone The Open.
More on this to come, as the R&A did not have an answer as to when officials would make their decision about Daly’s use of a golf cart.
“Doctors tell me I’m too young to get a knee surgery, get it replaced,” Daly said last week. “I enjoy playing. I’m still competitive, and I think getting to play hopefully the British in a cart… Past champions I think if we can play, no matter what it takes, I think we should.”