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First spiders, now roos: Canberra's wildlife makes a splash

Karrie Webb of Australia waits for the kangaroos to clear the fairway during day one.

Karrie Webb of Australia waits for the kangaroos to clear the fairway during day one. Photo: Getty Images.

Ask almost any international who hasn’t visited Australia what they think of our great land, and their response will most definitely include our animals, both dangerous and bizarre.

This week, Canberra is really helping the nation live up to that stereotype, as the eyes of the golfing world turn to Australia’s capital for the LPGA Australian Open.

After a Swedish golfer tried to use a tee to extract venom from a spider bite (possibly a redback) at a pre-qualifying tournament in the ACT on Tuesday, photos are now circulating the internet perpetuating Australia’s image as a land packed full of kangaroos.

The photo by Getty's Stefan Postles has been picked up by news and commentary websites around the world, prompting some entertaining reflections on the land down under.

“Yesterday it was Black Widow spiders, today it's kangaroos,” website Golf Digest reports. “No word of how long the delay lasted, but we're placing bets on what wildlife will impact the LPGA Australian Open next. Webb and the rest of the Tour may be hoping for something to attack Lydia Ko, because nothing else seems to slow her down.”

Sports media website Bleacher Report had tongue firmly in cheek, reporting their view of Australia as “a magical place filled with kangaroos around every corner”.

“Of course, I'm talking about the soft, cuddly ones portrayed on American cartoons—not the ones that act like a gang of thugs hell-bent on delaying a nice game of golf.

“Welcome to the LPGA Tour's ISPS Handa Australian Open in Yarralumla, Australia, where venomous spider bites don't stop the tournament but fun-loving kangaroos certainly do.”

The photo has been tweeted and retweeted dozens of times, including by the official PGA Twitter account and Fox Sports.

Even the golfers themselves were getting in the spirit, with Michelle Wie, Yani Tseng and Rebecca Lee-Bentham all taking to Twitter with photos of kangaroos on golf courses in the lead-up to the tournament.

But not even the abundant wildlife could distract 15-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, who gave all the pros a masterclass with a 10-under round to take the lead after day one of the tournament.

Play continues at Royal Canberra on Friday morning.

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