It’s Sunday at the Pacific Bay Resort Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville, as it is (or will soon be) at golf tournaments all around the world.
To most people, Sunday is a day of rest. Perhaps a sleep in, a late breakfast and leisurely read of the paper. But not for golfers. Not professional golfers, anyway.
For them, Sunday is payday. The most important day of the week, by some way. On Sunday in golf, they hand out cheques – And trophies.
The fans and the media concentrate almost all their attention on Sundays on the trophy. And that is as it should be.
Professional golf is not a democracy, it is a competition, and the winner claims the spoils.
But for the rest of the combatants in the arena, Sunday is not a dead rubber, either. There is always more to play for than just the trophy or the money, no matter what time you’re hitting off.
Every Sunday is important in itself, but each Sunday is also just a step along the journey to the next Sunday. And the one after.
The early Sunday starters at Bonville this week were on the range before it got light and will play as hard today, no matter how many shots behind they are, as they did Thursday.
Come the end of the season, and no player wants to look back on a card lost by a tiny sum of money and realise a bit more effort when in the first group Sunday might have been the difference.
The leaders, too, have plenty to play for, perhaps more in some ways. Cheques are important, but it is trophies that define legacies.
The contenders at Bonville all have their own stories to tell. Leader Madelene Sagstrom is an LPGA Tour player who has played Solheim Cup for Europe but has only one win on the Ladies European Tour – and that came at Q-School.
One behind is Hannah Green, the local favourite, and it would be hard to find a more popular player among fans, peers or press.
She’s a proven winner but never at home, and that brings its own unique pressures.
Spain’s Nuria Iturrios is also at 5-under after a brilliant Friday but indifferent Saturday. Victory isn’t out of the question, but she will need to reset after a 3-over 75.
Also at 5-under is Marianne Skarpnord, an adopted Australian married to former European Tour player Richard Green.
The Norway born golfer surprised even herself with a front nine 30 yesterday, and while that sort of scoring has been hard to come by with the winds at Bonville this week, she at least knows it’s possible.
France’s Celine Herbin might be the unknown quantity of the group at 5-under. She knows the pressure of winning at home having won the French Open in 2015 and looks confident this week.
And finally, there is the amateur Doey Choi. She was a great story when she led after round one, but she might have been even more impressive since.
The top of a golf leaderboard is rarefied air, and with little experience in the environment, she has performed well beyond expectations.
While every shred of common sense says, she won’t win the reality is that if the expected outcome always happened, we’d all stop watching sport.
And so another Sunday begins and for 70 golfers – at Bonville at least – it is another step on the career journey.
A journey that will continue next week.