The R&A have carefully considered the request from 1995 Champion Golfer of the Year John Daly to use a buggy at The 148th Open at Royal Portrush later this month. The R&A appreciate the difficulty John is facing and have full sympathy for him as this is clearly a serious, long-term condition.
Having considered all of the relevant factors, the Championship Committee has decided to decline his request. The R&A believe that walking the course is an integral part of the Championship and is central to the tradition of links golf which is synonymous with The Open. We must also ensure that, as far as possible, the challenge is the same for all players in the field.
The terrain at Royal Portrush is not suited to buggies and indeed the club itself does not permit their use. We have a serious concern that some parts of the course, where there are severe slopes and swales, would be inaccessible.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly but we believe it is the right one for The Open. John has a special place in our hearts as a Champion Golfer and he will always be welcome at the Championship both at Royal Portrush and in future.