SYDNEY -- Controversial American golfer John Daly grabbed a spectator's camera and smashed it into a tree amid a stormy end to his frustrating opening round at the Australian Open at Royal Sydney Thursday.
Daly, who crashed to three double bogeys and four bogeys in a six-over round of 78, lost his temper when a golf fan tried to take his picture from close range.
The two-time major champion, 42, who is in danger of missing his third straight cut in as many Australian tournaments this season, pushed his tee shot on the ninth and final hole of his eventful round into a clump of trees.
As the spectator, Brad Clegg, attempted to take his picture, Daly snatched Clegg's camera and hurled it into the trunk of a tree, saying, "You want it back, I'll buy you a new one."
As Daly completed the hole Clegg was left to pick up the pieces of his smashed camera.
Daly later issued a statement through tournament officials about the incident.
"I was looking to take a drop and the camera was six inches away from my face," he said. "If I was ten-under-par I would have felt the same. My eyes are still burning from the flash of the camera."
"I feel it was very rude to put a camera that close to anybody's face in any situation."
"The guy that had the camera had already taken a dozen shots at close range."
Clegg, asked if he would be seeking compensation from Daly, told reporters: "I don't think I'll be chasing him for the money. He's a big bloke."
Clegg said he was stunned by the incident and did not believe he had provoked the volatile American.
"It was very unexpected. I was bold but I wasn't unreasonable," he said.
Tournament director Trevor Herden said Clegg had breached the conditions of entry which state clearly that spectators cannot carry cameras or mobile phones.
"There will be no sanctions for John from Golf Australia," Herden said.
Daly will need something special in Friday's second round if he is to avoid missing his third cut in as many weeks, after bombing out of the Australian Masters in Melbourne and last week's Australian PGA Championship in Queensland.
He was paid appearance money to play on this year's Australian circuit with organizers believing he brings extra fans to the golf course to watch him play, but it has been a troubled few weeks for the big American.
Daly spent a night in jail in October after police found him drunk outside a restaurant in North Carolina.
Daly, the 1991 PGA Champion and 1995 British Open champion, has not held a US PGA Tour card for the past two years.