Today was forecast to be hot and windy and it was both of those things.
It was a perfect morning for golf and I arrived laden with banana, oatmeal and cranberry slice.
I took a container in for the NSW Golf staff and fellow media and it was gladly received.
I headed to the first tee and chatted with Stuart, Graeme and James (from Golf NSW) and supplied them with some slice while Graeme announced the field as they stepped up to the tee.
I asked if anyone had spotted Matthew Guyatt as I was hoping to speak to his caddy Robbie (I’d been told to catch up with him by Adam Slattery via Instagram) and I headed to the putting green and caught up with him there.
I didn’t realise that I had met Robbie before and we had a quick catch up before he headed to the first tee.
I decided to follow the group (Jeffress, Guyatt & NZ amateur Toomey) for a couple of hours. Guyatt drove his first ball into the sand and while he hit a great shot out, the rest of the hole was mediocre and he finished with a double, which he was clearly not happy with.
I was walking and chatting with one of Robbie’s golf mates, Kurt, and we had a great discussion about life, work, animals and golf as we wandered watching the competition.
I stayed with this group until they teed off the 7th then headed back to the media centre to restock my water and grab some more slice.
I met up with Jason Norris and Ace (his caddy) in front of the club house and gave Norrey a bag of banana oatmeal and cranberry slice. He had given me a hot banana from his bag post round yesterday so I turned it into slice and figured he should have some while he was golfing.
I headed out following Norrey, Matthew Millar and Jarrod Lyle after they teed off the 1st. Lyle’s daughter was with him and she was wearing a yellow had like her dad and a tiny glove. She got a little bored out there and when she asked her dad if they could go, he told her he still had another 12 holes to play but his putter wasn’t really working so could she tell his putter to work so he could drop his putts. She said something along those lines before she sat beside me and slumped, pulling her hat over her eyes.
The wind was starting to pick up and it was time to put the umbrella down. It was tricky enough tweeting as I walked, carrying my portable shade without having to wrestle the wind as well.
As Norrey left the 6th green, I told him I would pick him up on the back nine and sat waiting for Coletta to come through who was playing in the group behind.
The wind was making it tricky and while yesterday the 6th was a good birdie hole today it proved difficult.
I got chatting with a member of Stonecutters, who I had spoken with earlier on the 1st and he said that it has been like a hurricane blowing our here the last month and the last few days had been calm but today would just get harder.
There were some good scores coming in but as the wind picked up that would prove difficult for the leaders to match.
I watched Coletta, Bourke & Dodt play two holes then headed back in to the media centre for a bite to eat and to ditch the umbrella.
Peter Van Wegen from JNJG was manning the junior golf station so I headed over for a chat and a catch up while I ate lunch. Again I came bearing slice and Piret was very happy for another piece.
After grabbing my half charged phone, I checked the scores and was astounded to see the leader Blyth’s two birdie start follow with a double, par then four bogeys in a row.
I checked and assumed that Norrey’s group would be on the 10th so I headed off to catch them on the 11th. Instead I bumped into Rob Kennedy who is an old friend who I have known since I was little. He is the Head Professional at Wentworth Falls Golf Club and we had a half hour catch up before we went our seperate ways promising to see each other soon.
Rob is going to see if he can get a few guys together to join us at the launch of Fairways on the 28th November.
As I came around the 18th hole I spotted a volunteer standing near a cart and the electronic score board. I stopped to ask if he could shoot me out to the 11th in the cart and it turned out Shane wasn’t a volunteer at all but had come to the golf to watch his mate play. He said he was on the way to the 10th but didn’t know where it was and I told him I was heading that way and could show him.
I asked Shane who he was here to watch. Matthew Millar was his response and I told him he was in luck as that is the group I too am following. We marched off chatting about life and golf as we caught up with Coletta’s group on the 11th.
We watched them hole out and tee off the 12th before we shot down the fairway catching with with Millar, Norrey and Lyle on the 13th tee. Norrey had an ordinary 12th hole and Ace said he wasn’t happy. His drive on the 13th had pushed right and he had a tricky shot up the hill into the wind but made it look easy and finished with a par.
There was a fire out near Londonderry and the billowing smoke could be seen behind the trio as they teed off the 14th, homeward bound.
With the wind behind them, Norrey nailed his drive just over 380m and missed his eagle putt as all three players birdied the 15th.
The 16th was a very tricky hole to play in the strong winds. By this time they were blowing approx 45kms p/h. Not easy to play in. They all secured a par then I watched Norrey drop a good putt on the 17th for a birdie.
The 18th could have been good but instead was pars all round for the trio.
I waved to my afternoon golfing buddy Shane and headed to the clubhouse to grab something to eat with Norrey and Ace as the final three groups came in.
Norrey wasn’t happy with quite a bit of his round and was chastising himself for missing his birdie putt on the 18th but as I said to him, it could have been worse.
I popped outside on the balcony a couple of times snapping a couple of photos while I chatted to the gentlemen enjoying a Sunday afternoon beer while watching the golf.
After Blyth’s mediocre start he came in with five birdies and four pars and finished the round -1 which took him to -23 and three strokes clear in first place. I was pleased to see Coletta stay at the top of the leaderboard and finish tied second with Jarryd Felton on -20.
The round of the day was -8 and was shared by Herbert, Leaney (who teed off early and missed a lot of the wind) and Ormsby.
I said my goodbyes to Norrey and Ace and returned to the media centre to get my stuff and 45 bananas (perhaps an exaggeration). There was an abundance of bananas as a few too many had been purchased so everyone grabbed a bunch to take home.
I am sun kissed and tired and think I may have walked 60kms this week but have more of the same again next week as I head off to the Emirates Australian Open.
I am not complaining though as for some reason I cannot not explain, I love golf.