Sydney Bushfires Affect Players At Australian Open

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
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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."

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

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.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

"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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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV