x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Daly recovers to put last-place Open finish behind him

Two players with different reasons for wanting to put the British Open behind them will challenge for honours in Russia.

John Daly plays a shot on the sixth hole during the Russian Open Golf Championship outside Moscow.
John Daly plays a shot on the sixth hole during the Russian Open Golf Championship outside Moscow.

MOSCOW // Two players with different reasons for wanting to put the British Open behind them will challenge for honours in Russia this weekend. The American John Daly suffered nightmare rounds of 80 and 89 in last week's to finish joint last. He started slowly yesterday, but recovered from a slow start to record a two-under-par 70 in the first round. He again struggled in the early stages at Le Meridien Moscow Country Club.

Starting from the 10th, the American bogeyed the 11th and 13th and, after a birdie on the 14th, dropped another shot on the 16th to lie two over par. For England's Lee Slattery, just being involved in this tournament is a relief. He watched the British Open unfold from his flat 300 yards from Birkdale after failing to qualify for the event. "I was gutted to miss out by two shots in qualifying," he said.

"Being born and raised in Southport I'd been looking forward to this Open since they announced it was coming back. "It was hard to watch it all happen knowing I could have been there." Daly is playing his fourth regular tour event of the season having competed in Germany, Italy and Spain as well as the UK. The two-time major winner has made the cut in just one, finishing in a tie for 23rd in the Italian Open in Milan, and has been struggling with injury.

"Before the Open I was at home for three or four days and I probably practised harder than I have in about two years," he said. "My doctor told me I shouldn't play, it's pretty much the first time I haven't listened in two years. * PA Sport