Toxic smoke from forest fires hits the Australian Open

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Officials and players have worn face masks to combat the toxic smoke that blows from the nearby forest fires

Players at the Australian Open have complained about stabbing eyes, since toxic smoke from forest fires around Sydney affected the opening round on Thursday.

Sydney's air quality index registered on par with Beijing, requiring New Zealand golfer Ryan Chisnall, who is asthmatic, to put on a face mask.

Smoke has been blown away by fires that have raged for more than a month.

"I feel like I need to put some salt water in my nose or something," said Australian number one Adam Scott.

Scott, who is considering wearing a face mask for the second round, struggled with a four-over 75.

"Obviously not the circumstances in which we want to play. [The smoke] became quite a while for a while fat, "he added.

England & # 39; s number 14 Paul Casey, the highest ranked player in the field, finished the day at 68, three shots of the lead.

"I have to admit that my eyes are stinging, but you know, I feel genuine for the people [nearer the fires] because we feel it down here 100 [miles].

" I & # 39; I'm not going to complain because there are people in a much worse position than me. "

Two young Asian amateurs, Takumi Kanaya in Japan and Yu Chun-an in Taiwan, both 21, led after day one with six-under-65s.

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