Currently 18th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit and 76th on European Tour Race to Dubai, Travis Smyth has been in self-isolation since Monday following his return from Malaysia. Here he shares his thoughts on the impact of coronavirus on Australian professionals and how he is filling his days of solitude.
I found out on the day that I was due to leave Malaysia that I would be subjected to the 14-day self-isolation when I returned to Australia on Monday morning.
Obviously, when we were playing the Malaysia Open as players we were talking about what might happen but we didn’t imagine it would get to this point.
There’s now basically nowhere for any of us to play.
Because America didn’t shut anything down until late last week I was thinking about coming home for a couple of weeks and then going to the States to see my girlfriend, do some Korn Ferry Tour Monday qualifiers. But now there’s nothing at all to play over there either.
How good does self Isolation for 14 days sound. Wonder if I can bribe my favorite barista to bring me coffee every day. Geeze this will be tough to not go and sneak a late 9 in.— Travis Smyth (@travsmythg) March 16, 2020
The next tournament I’m hoping to play is the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup in Japan in two months’ time and my understanding at this stage is that Japan Tour events are going ahead but without spectators.
Originally the plan was to play the Malaysia Open and then go to Thailand and India but when they were both postponed I decided to spend a few days with some really good friends playing golf in Kuala Lumpur before coming home.
By the time my flight was due to leave last Sunday the Australian Government had announced the self-isolation for all international travellers coming back into the country.
On the plane there were Australian Government health officials who gave us a piece of paper with all the information about the coronavirus and a website to visit to get more information.
At the passenger entry terminal there was also a box asking if you were aware of the 14-day isolation that you had to click, but that was basically it.
I had one night in my apartment in Sydney before my flatmate suggested it would be best for me to head down to my parents’ place in Wollongong. He says if I still haven’t got any symptoms after a week I’m welcome to come back.
I wasn’t sure how strict it was going to be – whether I could play golf by myself for example – but in the last couple of days I heard that if you get caught out of isolation that you could be subject to an $11,000 fine in New South Wales.
It’s day three now and I’ve honestly been doing nothing.
I’ve just been hanging out with Mum and Dad, listening to iBooks, watching Netflix and sleeping in.
The book I’m listening to at the moment is the life story of Navy Seal David Goggins called Can’t Hurt Me.
I don’t have any weights or anything here but I’m going to try and come up with some kind of workout I can do to at least keep the body a bit active.
I’m also going to dig out the net I built as my final project in Design and Tech in Year 12 and see if that still works.
I got a pretty good mark for that net actually.
May as well make the best of a boring situation.