Today I woke to pouring rain. It was early, I checked the time and slept for another hour. It was still raining when I got up and the fog was thick.
I checked my emails on the way and saw a notification that lightning had delayed the golf by an hour.
When I arrived it was still cool and very wet underfoot. After setting up in the media centre I wandered off to check out the action.
I stopped and chatted with the crew from NSW Golf at the 1st tee, admired the trophy and watched a bunch of groups tee off.
I was planning on following Jason Norris who wasn’t teeing off until 10.50am. I strolled down to the range and watched the practice routines of numerous players noting things I will try next time I am at the range. I spotted Ace (Jason’s caddy) setting up a station for Norrey.
I chatted with them a bit, watched Norrey warm up then headed off to coat myself in another layer of sunscreen, ditch my jacket, change my shoes and grab my umbrella.
The sun was out and it was heating up. It was nearly 30 degrees when Jason Norris, Stephen Leaney and amateur Kevin Yuan teed off and yet it was still very wet underfoot.
It was steamy and humid and as I strolled down the first fairway, I got chatting with one of the other gentlemen who was following the group.
Norrey’s ball was sitting on the back edge of the bunker for two and he executed the perfect chip shot over the bunker and dropped an easy putt to start his round with a birdie and as Norrey said himself ,it was the shot of the day and set up his round.
It was getting hotter and I was glad to have the umbrella with me to give me shade.
I had a golf chat as we watched some great golf. We followed Norrey and his group for two holes before we waited for them to come back down the 4th.
In the interim the group with Joshua Gadd (who is the youngest player in the field at 17) come through and then we witnessed a trio of birdies from Michael Sim, Daniel Nisbet and Brad Moules on the 4th before Norrey was back.
He was playing well. He birdied the 5th and as I was tweeting as I walked I didn’t see the big puddle I stepped in engulfing my canvas shoes. We met Rod (who is a good mate of Norrey’s and sometime caddy) on the 6th. Another birdie on the 8th and the 10th where I parted ways and went back to the media centre to get out of the sun and grab some lunch.
I checked my emails, chatted with a few of the media before heading back out into the sun.
I had my umbrella but the wind had picked up and after watching a couple other umbrellas flick inside out, I left it tucked under my arm. I stopped to watch some delighted juniors get autographs and balls from players as they came off the 18th.
I caught up with Norrey again as he nailed his drive down the 15th and holed another birdie. I think Rod had caddy envy watching Ace on the bag but I am sure he was happy to not be carrying in that heat.
Rod was very happy to see Jason play so well and when we came down the 18th and Norrey holed his 6th birdie of the day Rod commented that it had been quite a while since Norry played bogey free golf.
What every golfer aspires to.
Norrey handed me a hot banana that had baked in his bag for hours (which is now banana, oatmeal and cranberry slice) and as the boys headed off for a cold beverage, I watched a couple more groups come through the 18th.
I got chatting to James from Golf NSW and then wandered back to the media centre while the final groups came through.
As there was an abundance of bananas, I grabbed another 7 to cook with and headed off to pick up the rest of the ingredients.
It wasn’t until I got home that I saw Adam Blyth had extended his lead to -22, four stokes clear of second place Peter Wilson.
Norrey sits in equal 9th, on -14 and I hope tomorrow he shoots another bogey free round spattered with many birdies.