Play to resume at 2:50pm

Wind

Update:

We will be back underway at 2:50pm - so we should get the rest of the final round here.

Good news golf fans!

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Golf Australia is hopeful of a Sunday finish to the Emirates Australian Open despite a ferocious wind storm that halted play at The Lakes today.

GA’s tournament director Trevor Herden suspended play at 11.43am, with the leaders still yet to hit off, after a steel television tower toppled down behind the 18th green. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Gusts of up to 80 km/h were recorded and on several greens, golf balls were moving.

Herden said the course became unplayable and the danger to spectators made it impossible to continue. Four groups, including the final pairing of England’s Justin Rose and Australia’s John Senden, were yet to hit off the first tee.

However the weather bureau has forecast a lightening of the winds later this afternoon which would allow play to resume.

“It started off at 40 kilometres (per hour), then it went to 60 an hour later, and then 80 when that tower went over,’’ said Herden. “There’s nothing we can do other than get people out of the way of danger. We have an obligation to the public and the players.’’

Herden said the weather bureau estimated the winds would drop to 35-40 km/h in the mid-afternoon, making play possible. “We’re going to have to ride that out. We’ll make use of every hour of daylight that we’ve got. It’s brutal. But they play all over the world in brutal conditions from time to time.’’
GA estimates that if play resumes by 3pm the tournament will be completed by tonight.

Veteran Tom Watson carded the low round of the day thus far, a 69 after starting early. Western Australian Nick O’Hern was the unluckiest player, going out in an amazing 32 (three-under-par) before a triple bogey seven at the par-four 10th hole. Had the suspension been called a few minutes earlier, O’Hern would have been spared the ignominy of that score.

Hopefully we can get out there early this afternoon, we will keep you up to date here and on @ausopengolf.

Follow all the scores and latest news on the course when we get back underway by downloading the Official Emirates Australian Open iPhone App here

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