Golfers battling wind at classic
GOLFERS in this week's Bargara Ladies' Classic are preparing for more wild weather with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a coastal wind warning for this morning.
With a strong breeze pounding the coastal course for the opening round of the tournament none of the ladies in the division one tournament were able to shoot below handicap.
“We teed off at 6.30am and it was windy right from the start and did not let up,” said reigning champion Jo-Anne Atkin, who shot the only sub-80 round with a gross score of 79.
Atkin, who shoots off a three handicap, will go into today's second day leading in the gross but behind on the nett leaderboard, where four players scored a 72.
North-westerly winds blew through the coastal course for much of the opening day and a coastal wind warning issued for today will ensure that continues.
Stephen Fletcher, a senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology, said gusts of more than 43kmh were forecast for the Bundaberg Airport tomorrow.
That is significantly higher than yesterday's problem winds of 32kmh.
“On the coastal areas it would be significantly windier,” Fletcher said.
“I'm not a golfer but I can't imagine it will be ideal conditions.”
Fletcher also said that there was a possibility of rain this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
Atkin, who has not missed a Bargara classic since 2002, said the weather was a factor every year.
“Bargara is one of those courses where, if you play to your handicap, you're playing pretty good golf,” she said.
Surprisingly it was the greens that posed the biggest challenge for the favourites yesterday.
Both Atkin and Bargara hopeful Joan Milton had off days with the putter.
Milton had more than 30 hits on the 18 greens yesterday.
“It's something that I want to improve (today),” she said.
“I look to shoot about 28 shots on the greens in a round, and I was well above that.
“Apart from the putting I think I played pretty well.”
Milton, who shoots off a handicap of seven, finished the course in 86 shots.
Her nett score was 79.
Despite weather limiting the quality of play, tournament director Val Bazley said it was a successful start to the 25th anniversary of the event.
The competitors, members of the golf club and friends gathered last night for an anniversary dinner.