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First Round of LPGA Tournament in the Bahamas Washed Out


Because of what many called the biggest storm to hit the Bahamas in 20 years, Wednesday's pro-am and the opening round of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic on Thursday were canceled, reducing the $1.3 million event to 54 holes.

The players will tee off on Friday in the tournament, which is being held for the first time. On Wednesday, a significant amount of standing water remained on at least seven holes at the Ocean Club, with the ninth and 18th fairways completely underwater.

Crews began work overnight to remove the water and clear debris to make the golf course playable. Those efforts will continue through the rescheduled start of the tournament. The rain was so intense that the 18th fairway was under water and turtles were swimming in water that filled a bunker on the ninth hole.

Complicating matters is that there's a 60 percent chance of more rain Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday.

"The damage to the golf course and structures caused by Tuesday's heavy rain and winds was extensive and we are working around the clock to repair damages and drain the golf course so that we can present a first-class event for the LPGA, Pure Silk and the people of the Bahamas," said tournament director, Matt Truax.

"We thank everyone for their understanding and patience while we do everything possible to return Ocean Club Golf Course to championship condition."

The event features the top-three players in the Rolex World Ranking, including top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea and No. 2 Stacy Lewis. "You can't feel guilty about not practicing or playing today because no one is allowed out there," said Lewis.

"I certainly wish for the tournament's sake that we could have played the pro-am. First-year events have some bumps and we always get through them. This is no different."

No. 3, Suzann Pettersen, added, "Mentally, you're still in it although physically you can't do anything today at the course," said the Norwegian. "I'm happy I got 18 holes of practice in (Tuesday). We will play whenever we can."