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Smoke couldn’t cloud the #AusOpenGolf action at The Australian

Smoke haze at The Australian

Congratulations to course superintendent Phil Beal and his team at The Australian Golf Club for providing a first-class stage for the 104th Emirates Australian Open last week. Each and every hole looked fantastic as the local hope – Matt Jones – held off a challenge from South African Louis Oosthuizen, taking home his second Australian Open title.

This was the twenty-first time that The Australian Golf Club has hosted the Open, the oldest and most prestigious golf tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. Providing these elite athletes the opportunity to play on outstanding playing surfaces at Australia’s oldest golf club.

Greenkeepers at the Australian
​Morning at The Australian Golf Club.

However, this year’s tournament was faced with a new challenge with Sydney experiencing its ‘worst ever’ smoke haze and hazardous air pollution levels. Every morning the greenkeeping crew shouldered their backpack blowers to clear the greens of ash. However, despite these challenges and a dry lead up to the tournament with Sydney now on level two water restrictions, the tournament was a showcase for why Australian turf managers are among the best in the world, presenting the course in outstanding condition.

As usual, Syngenta was there to support the crew for the five days of the tournament, with a barbeque breakfast cooked by our sales team each morning, ready for the guys when they returned from the greens. Certainly, a well-earned breakfast after a 3AM start! This was an excellent engagement opportunity and a chance to support the hardworking team of greenkeepers. Well done to Michael Bradbery for organising another year of successful partnership. There were over 350 snags and 400 eggs flipped in five days – huge effort!

Paul Jackson and Michael Bradbery on the barbeque
Paul Jackson and Michael Bradbery on the barbeque.


Women in Turf

2019 was a year of firsts for women in golf across Australia with Daphne van Houten making history as the first ever female golfer at the Australian Open. The 21-year-old Dutch lady played in the Australian All Abilities Championship, alongside twelve top players with disabilities. 

In March this year, new guidelines for Australian golf clubs were introduced in a bid to stop discrimination and boost female participation. It was great to see the spirit of this at the tournament this year with the 50 strong tournament crew also including two female turf managers, Martyna Synak, assistant superintended at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney, and Brittney Goldsworthy over from WA. 

Women in Turf
Two turf managers helping with the tournament Martyna Synak (left), assistant superintended at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney, and WA’s Brittney Goldsworthy (centre) with Syngenta Campaigns Associate Seiya Grant (right).