Players have complained of stinging eyes at this week's Australian Open as the bushfires continues to cause havoc around the country
While the UK endures another cold winter Australia is once again enjoying a sun-baked summer but this isn’t all as good as it seems.
Several large bushfires have blighted the Australian summer so far causing the air in many parts to be heavily polluted by smoke, including Sydney where this week’s Australian Open is taking place.
While the biggest concern of course is the safety and wellbeing of local communities, the golfers teeing it up at this week at The Australian have spoken about their own discomfort caused by the smoke.
The air quality in Sydney has seriously dipped as a result of the spreading smoke that has come from the fires which have been raging for more than a month and is now being compared to that of Beijing.
As a result some golfers and officials have been wearing face masks in a bid to reduce the effects and will continue to do so throughout the week.
Adam Scott, one of the headline names in the field, said: “It feels like I should shove a bit of salt water up my nose or something. Obviously not the conditions we want to be playing in. [The smoke] got pretty thick for a while.”
Playing partner Paul Casey added: “I must admit my eyes are stinging. I’m not going to complain because there’s people in a lot worse position than me. It makes it tricky but overcoming the elements is part of golf.”
The bushfires have killed six people and destroyed more than 700 homes across Australia since October and the severity of the blazes so early in the fire season has prompted calls for greater action to tackle climate change. More than 1.6 million hectares of land in NSW have been burnt already.