Sydney’s smoky haze continues to dog the Australian Open golf championship, with former winner Matt Jones claiming he’d never endured anything like it.
Jones snared the early clubhouse lead with a first-round four-under-par 67 on Thursday before saying visibility and comfort levels were among the worst he’d endured.
“It’s awful,” Jones said.
“I’m not sure what the forecast is, but the smoke is not good at all.
“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, but yeah it’s not fun.
“I hope my kids are inside in the hotel room.”
With several sporting events cancelled this week as bushfires continue to rage in NSW, children, the elderly and those with heart and lung conditions are most at risk.
Health authorities have advised people to reduce outdoor activities and seek medical advice if they experience difficulties.
Golf Australia boss said Stephen Pitt promised pre-Open to have ample medical staff on site at The Australian, while tournament director Trevor Herden was hoping forecast sea breezes would help clear skies by the weekend.
“Even when I played in China, I didn’t think it was like this at all,” Jones said.
“Definitely not in Malaysia. It’s just unbelievably humid (there).
“I’ve never experienced something like this.”