Fires from around 100 miles away caused a smoggy atmosphere at the Australian Golf Club with players struggling with the conditions
Sydney Bushfires Affect Players At Australian Open
The terrible Sydney bushfires have affected players at the Australian Open this week some 100 miles away.
The course had a visible haze over it on day one with Kiwi golfer Ryan Chisnall, who is asthmatic, having to borrow a face mask from a member of the public.
“I’ve had breathing problems for a while,” Chisnall said after his round.
“These sort of conditions don’t really help me and I didn’t bring my inhaler today. That was a bit of a mission.
“Some bloke on the 17th fairway [his 8th hole of the day] gave me a mask. I don’t know if it helped, but I gave it a whirl for a bit and tried it out. I was always going to just keep going.”
Marshalls and volunteers at the Australian Golf Club were also donning face masks with numerous players speaking of the adverse conditions.
Paul Casey, the highest-ranked player in the field, said that his eyes were stinging.
“I must admit my eyes are stinging but you know I honestly feel for the people [nearer the fires], because we’re feeling it down here 100 [miles] away,” the Englishman said.
“I’m not going to complain because there’s people in a way worse position than me.”
Aussie favourite Adam Scott said that he may wear a face mask for the second round.
“Obviously not the conditions we want to be playing in. [The smoke] got pretty thick for a while,” he said.
Robert Allenby said that he ran out of eyedrops because of applying them so often according to the Syndey Morning Herald.
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“It’s awful,” 2015 champion Matt Jones said.
“It’s tough to see your golf ball when you’re out there playing, where it finishes.
“Your eyes do burn up. I’ve got that cough like you’ve got something in your lungs, phlegm in your lungs or whatever … it’s not fun.
“Even when I played in China I didn’t think it was like this at all. Definitely not in Malaysia, it’s just unbelievably humid, but no, I’ve never experienced anything like this. I hope my kids are inside in the hotel room.”
Amateurs Takumi Kanaya and Chun An Yu lead by two after the opening day thanks to six under par 65s.
Paul Casey is three back at -3.
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