Australian Open – Swinging in the Sunshine

It is a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in Sydney. There is a little wind swirling around to test the golfers today.

I am sitting in the media centre before I coat myself in 70+ sunscreen (does it even work?) and head out to watch the action.

Jason Day sits in 2nd spot on -8, one shot behind the leader Lucas Herbert while Jordan Spieth is 7 shots behind but as Day said yesterday “7 strokes ahead of Spieth is not enough”.

Besides watching the golf, I have spent the last few days catching up with friends I see every year – golfers, caddies, volunteers, fellow media and various folk who work in the industry.  In speaking to my friends, I realised just how much work I have done with Fairways and what Jeremy and I have accomplished in the past 12 months.

I missed all the press conferences on Wednesday as my phone battery died and I spent 4 hours in the Apple store instead. I did get work done there but was happy to return to the golf early afternoon.

I caught up with Jason Norris and Rod Butchers (Norrey’s caddy) and chatted about his win at the Fiji International and what his next couple of years will look like on the European and Asian Tours. I am hoping to attend an event in Europe next summer and will try to coordinate it when they are kicking around.

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After a wet start Wednesday for the ProAm, the week has been sunny with the wind picking up each afternoon. It is predicted to be around 27kms an hour today increasing to 34kms tomorrow.

On Thursday I met up with the empowered boys, James Gribble (founder of Empower Golf) and Lachy Foulsham. We spent a couple of hours following some of Lachy’s mates who were playing.

I also met with David Gallichio who runs the Golf Australia MyGolf program and Cameron Wade, the Golf Development Director of Golf Australia, to discuss identifying underprivileged junior golfers in Australia who require support to continue golfing and how Fairways can help.

I wanted to watch a couple of young Aussies who I met a couple years ago, Lincoln Tighe and Antonio Murdaca and I headed out to follow them with Mark Ingrey from Jack Newton Junior Golf. Mark knows everyone and I love seeing him chat with the juniors he mentors.

I also spoke with a multitude of volunteers about their golf story and how they came to volunteer for the event. As with all events I attend, it is the volunteers that make it. Without them, there is no tournament.

I spend a lot of time tweeting and photographing between golf chats and I love it. Who’d have thought 4 years ago I would’ve rather poked my eyes out with sticks than watch golf on television and yet here I am, willingly spending a week watching the boys swinging in the sunshine.

It is now after 9.30am and I am keen to head out and watch the action – I think I will start on the driving range.

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