Weather conditions cause Australian Amateur to suspend play for the day
Poor weather conditions suspend play<br><i>Golf Australia photo</i>
Poor weather conditions suspend play
Golf Australia photo
Extreme heat forced players from Melbourne’s Metropolitan and Kingswood golf courses at 3.50pm, then just as the field was returning to position for a 6pm resumption, lightning and fierce winds sent players and spectators scurrying again.

A combination of lightning and strong winds then forced officials’ hands at 6.30pm.

The last groups have 13 holes of their second round left to play, with none of the 156-strong afternoon field having finished.

Play will resume at 6.45am on Thursday morning. Taking into account potential playoffs for the final qualifying spots into the second phase, GA plans to start the matchplay rounds at approximately noon.

The first round of matchplay will be played in groups of four with tee times until approximately 4pm, hopefully allowing the full round to be completed and have the tournament back on schedule by Friday.

Play had been scheduled to resume at 6pm Melbourne time after more than two hours were lost to extreme heat with the official temperature exceeding 42C.

But just as players were returning to position, an imminent lightning warning was issued and Golf Australia officials ushered everyone off Metropolitan and Kingswood golf clubs.

The official #AusAm policy revolves around a Bureau of Meteorology “feels-like” temperature of 39C which was never reached, but the move was made to uphold players’ safety with some visibly feeling the pinch.

There were some fine scores earlier, but very few were in train among the later groups when play was suspended.

World No.22 Grant Forrest is hanging by a thread midway through his round.

The Scottish ace made some uncharacteristic errors on the front nine at Metropolitan and slumped towards the borderline of the top 64 men who will advance to the matchplay phase. Forrest is currently three over in total, right on the number on a wildly fluctuating day.

Sydney’s Kevin Yuan continues to lead despite battling slightly at Kingswood. The new Metropolitan amateur course record holder – after his 64 on Tuesday – was one over today to be seven under and only one clear of impressive Hills International School player Charles Pilon who’s safely in the clubhouse at six under after an even- par 72 at Kingswood this morning.

The best score this morning was from New Zealander Lachie McDonald who carded an entertaining 67 at Metropolitan.

The Palmerston North ace mixed eight birdies and an eagle amid three bogeys and a double to all but wrap up his matchplay berth.

“I’ve had nine birdies in a round before, but it’s really nice to have it in such an important event on this quality of course, too,” McDonald said. “I’ve never played this well in an event of this stature, so it’s really nice.

“I hit 14 greens yesterday and shot five over, so a couple of bad shots punished me. But I came out today and the putter was rolling, so I just believed in myself and away I went.”

The affable McDonald, considering turning pro if his trip to Australasian PGA Tour school next week goes well, said that style of play would hopefully suit him in the knockout phase.

“If I can that round again, it will be fairly helpful because the odd bogey won’t matter as much. I’m a really confident match-player, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.
ABOUT THE Australian Men's Amateur

The Australian Men's and Women's Amateur Championships are Australia's oldest Amateur Golf Championships, with both having been played since 1894.

Players contest 36-holes stroke play qualifying, with the leading 64 men qualifying for elimination match play. The initial field size is 216 men.

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