Golf tips and expert instruction, golf club reviews and the latest golf equipment.
Thank you for signing up to Golf Monthly. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
After a scoring frenzy on the first day of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, conditions drastically changed on Friday, with winds of 25-30mph causing havoc for the players on the course.
The scoring, which was around four shots worse than Thursday, was only one of the issues at the brand new venue, Yas Island, with the video below showing the problems the greenkeepers faced during the second round on Friday.
Welcome to a windy round of golf in the desert 🌪️#ADGolfChamps | #RolexSeries pic.twitter.com/5yJ2yzgoqoJanuary 21, 2022
On one of the courses many undulating greens, the green staff were forced to take action on the par-4 14th, with massive amounts of sand being blown onto the putting surface, causing the blowers to come out to get rid of it.
Players like Min Woo Lee and Robert MacIntyre were pictured suffering in the conditions, with the Scotsman saying: “I’ve never played a golf course that I’ve been hit by a bin bag on before."
He added: "we’ve just got to get on with this and try our best. This is the toughest conditions I’ve played in since probably Royal Portrush, where I got two holes in The Open like this. I think I’ve played three holes where it’s not been off my right side; for me, being a left-hander, that’s the hardest wind."
His words were echoed by current leader, Ian Poulter, who admitted to "backing off a couple putts" during his level-par round of 72. "I've got to be honest, you look at the forecast and you felt the wind as strong as it was, you'd have thought the ball would be moving but I didn't have any balls moving on the green. So it was a surprise, but you just had to hang in there", he added.
Another player who is tied with Poulter at the top of the leaderboard is Viktor Hovland, with the young Norwegian looking to claim his first Rolex Series event title. "It was a tough day today", he said. "Obviously I would have liked to have made a couple more putts today and I think I could have shot under par, but it was a really difficult when it blowing as much as it is.
"It's pretty cliché but you need patience. You might be able to pick up a birdie here and there but on a day like today it's limited how many chances you're going to get, it's all about kind of being risk averse and missing on the right side and picking your spots and just telling yourself that it's okay to be 50 feet away on this hole. You just kind of have to manage that as the day goes on."
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.