KUALA LUMPUR: The foreign golfers came for the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia all prepared for the hot weather and humid conditions.
Some were even prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions, knowing how it could be hot one moment and raining the next.
But this year’s LPGA Malaysia, which began at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Thursday, the golfers have had to contend with another factor – haze.
As of 1pm on Thursday, the Air Pollutant Index (API) in Kuala Lumpur recorded a reading of 96 – which is close to the “unhealthy” level.
API readings of between 0-50 indicate good air quality; 51-100 moderate; 101-200 unhealthy; 201-300 very unhealthy; and over 301 hazardous.
But for some, like China’s world No. 9 Feng Shanshan, the haze was no big deal. Instead, she felt that it was a blessing disguise.
“I don’t think so,” said Shanshan, who is tied for sixth place after shooting a four-under 67, when asked if it was difficult to play in the hazy condition.
“It doesn’t really do anything except that you can’t see really far.
“In fact, I think it’s actually pretty good because we have less sun and it’s less humid, so I liked it.”
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, who finished joint 16th after carding a two-under 69, agreed.
The 18-year-old Thai said: “The weather is really nice today (Thursday), nothing like when I played here two years back ... it was so hot then. Maybe the haze does help reduce the heat.”
Malaysia’s Michelle Koh, however, feels that the haze has made her throat sore.
“I don’t think the haze affected me very much, but I do think I’m getting a sore throat. Hopefully, it doesn’t get any worse,” she said.
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