Date: December 01, 2010
Author: Steve Orme, Sportal

Hopes for Thursday morning start

Tournament director Trevor Herden remains confident play will start as scheduled on Thursday morning despite some sections of The Lakes Golf Club being water logged. Heavy rain forced tournament organisers to cancel the traditional Pro-Am competition on Wednesday as the course, which drains better than most, was rendered unplayable. But while Herden admits the relentless rain has created several challenges for tournament organisers, he&aposs hopeful the strong winds forecast for Thursday morning will allow the event to start and finish on time. “Yes we are going to try and push it through to try and get it finished on Sunday,” a defiant Herden said on Wednesday. “Obviously Thursday and Friday are our crucial days to try and get all the field around, but these are the tests you have with tournament golf. It&aposs not new.” “I think we just need the rain to ease and we&aposll have a look later on today and just see how much water is laying on those greens, we might have to keep obviously moving that.” “There seems to be a bit of a window later in the afternoon where this (heavy rain) might soften down a bit.” “So we&aposll just have to wait and see really. I&aposm confident with the drainage we&aposve got on sand and if we can just stop the rain as I say, we can get it going (on Thursday morning).” “We&aposve got an interesting forecast with an average of 35km winds tomorrow so that in itself will be a good test.” Asked to identify the major problem areas on the course, Herden explained: “Five green in particular is unplayable at the moment, six green is unplayable and there&aposs a few others getting close … so we&aposve got some issues but the green staff are working hard and hopefully this band of rain that pretty much is coming from way north near Tamworth, should hopefully get out of here.” The rain will ensure the undulating Lakes greens will be more receptive than Herden had hoped. “We were planning (to have them running) at around 10 feet (on the stimp metre), we&aposve got them at nine and now the rain is here we&aposll probably have to keep them at nine I guess for a little while until they dry out,” he said. “We&aposll see what the wind does tomorrow, that&aposll help us dry a little if it doesn&apost keep raining of course.” “But nine and a half to 10 would be just about it. There&aposs a lot of undulations in those greens of course, more so than other Sydney courses.” Despite the tough conditions Herden is predicting low scores when play gets underway, but 2009 runner-up Stuart Appleby is bracing for a torturous week on the testing layout. “Last year obviously we had similar conditions in some senses with certainly the wind you expect out at NSW (Golf Club) but this week we&aposre expecting something very unusual even for Sydney,” Appleby said. “I know they get a lot of rain but really to get what we&aposre having, this is potentially going to be an all day affair or all week affair is going to be very testing … I mean I hope we get it done by Sunday.” “As a player this is beyond our capabilities of how we can play … I potentially have never seen weather like this that we actually could play in.”