Date: December 09, 2012
Author: Golf Australia

Statement on weather by Trevor Herden, Saturday 9 December

Let me give you an update of how the trend has increased its intensity. It first hit when those clouds came over at 40 kilometres. Then it went to 60 about an hour later. It got to 80 kilometres, which was when that tower fell over. There is nothing we can do to protect people but to get them out of danger. We have an obligation to the public and the players. And then there is the golf course, which at that point became unplayable. We were managing very well through the 60 kmh zone but once we got to 80, we all know that no golf course can withstand 80 kmh winds. We had to suspend play. It is still blowing around the 70 kmh mark. The Bureau is telling us it may drop back to 35 or 40 kmh in an hour. We ll have to ride it out. We ll make use of every hour of daylight we ve got and get back out when it gets down to about 60 kmh. Was there a tipping point? When that gust of 80 kmh came through a ball on the first rolled something like five feet. That was the first ball that had rolled. There was another one just after that on 12 that rolled two feet. It was going to happen all over the golf course. That s why we pulled it. At the same time the tower blew over. There was talk of other stuff moving around, signage and other stuff. Which tower was it? The TV tower at 18. It was inside the ropes. No one was in danger. From that standpoint, it is all fine. What is the feedback from the players? It is brutal. But they play all around the world in brutal conditions from time to time. They ve got it here today. Are the players happy with the decision? They are all delighted to be in for the minute. As it got worse it got more frustrating but it is part of the game and they ve got to play in the conditions they are given. While the golf course is playable, they must keep playing. What will happen if we don t finish today? As long as we can get back out there, I don t see why we can t finish today, even if we got out by three o clock. The leader is nearly off. We would want to finish this championship and if it means tomorrow morning, then it s tomorrow morning. If it was tomorrow, what time would you start? Probably around the same time as this morning, about 6.45. Did you have weather forecasts? Forty-five Ks was the line with up to 70 gusts. But no matter what you do or how you plan, these things happen. Question about preparation of the greens. We cut them this morning and soaked them last night and this morning. At what speed were they running? About 10 7 . That s five inches slower than yesterday. They were cut to 3 mm. In hindsight, would you have cut them? We did not know we d have 80 kmh, 45 was the number. Are they saying 45 kmh here or in the city? They just give you the general for Sydney when you talk to them. What time does it get dark? Depending on the cloud cover, around eight o clock or a bit after.