John Daly is free to ride a cart during the week of the British Open — just not at Royal Portrush.
Daly’s manager said Tuesday he is likely to play the Barbasol Championship next week in Kentucky, and the two-time major champion with osteoarthritis in his right knee already has been granted a cart to use in the PGA Tour event.
Andy Pazder, the chief tournaments and competition officer for the PGA Tour, said Daly late last year was approved to use a cart through 2019 at PGA Tour events and PGA Tour Champions events that require walking.
Daly, who has not played a regular PGA Tour event since The Greenbrier last summer, also is contemplating the Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada, the following week.
The R&A announced Tuesday that Daly had withdrawn from the British Open “due to a medical condition.”
The nature of that condition — be it his arthritic knee or a spider bite — was not entirely clear.
Daly has been dealing with arthritis in his knee, and he says he also was diagnosed as diabetic. That led him to request a cart for the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which the PGA of America approved after Daly submitted the required medical information.
The R&A rejected his request for a cart over the weekend, saying it felt walking was an integral part of the tournament. “We must also ensure, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field,” it said.
Pulling out of the British Open, however, might also be linked to a social media post from Daly on Sunday.
In a Twitter note that he described as “My life chapter 84k,” Daly says he was on vacation in England last week when he was bitten by a spider without realizing it. He was taken to an emergency room on Friday — apparently at Uniontown Hospital in Pennsylvania, north of the Nemacolin Resort — and taken straight into surgery to remove a major infection in his abdominal area. He says he also was treated for early sepsis from a brown recluse.
His post included hashtags that say he was in some serious pain, glad to be alive and the photos were too graphic.
Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 at Crooked Stick, making him exempt for as long as he wants. He won the British Open at St. Andrews in 1995 and is exempt for that major through 2031 when he is 65.
He still has past champion status on the PGA Tour, allowing him into tournaments that have room in the field.