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Second Round of Women's British Open Suspended
High winds Friday canceled the second round of the Women's British Open. The $2.75 million LPGA Tour major started Thursday at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
The course was deemed unplayable due to winds gusting up to 60 mph made it difficult for players to keep balls on the green or on a tee. Only 36 players had started their rounds before play was halted. The Rules Committee of the Ladies Golf Union declared the scores recorded by the early groups are "null and void" in accordance with Rule 33-2d.
Susan Simpson, the LGU Tournament Director, made this statement to explain the re-start of the second round:
"The Rules Committee has declared the scores returned this morning null and void in accordance with Rule 33-2d," Simpson said. "The competitors began their round in extremely adverse weather conditions and conditions subsequently worsened despite our belief that they would remain stable. It would have been unfair to those competitors not to declare play null and void and cancel all scores for the round in question. "
The ruling has been made twice before in LPGA events -in the 2001 LPGA Champions Classic and 2003 Samsung World Championship, both due to heavy rains.
Play was first suspended at 8:25 a.m. local time; officials hoped to re-start the round but conditions didn't improve and they decided to resume play at 6:50 a.m. Saturday morning. If the weather cooperates, once the second round is completed the 36-hole cut will be made and the remaining qualifiers will start their third rounds.
South Koreans Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu, who opened with 2-under 70s, will start Saturday still atop the leaderboard.
Karen Stupples, a native of England, is familiar with playing on weather-beaten links in the UK but, after starting her second round at 7 a.m., believed the decision to stop play was warranted. "On the third, my ball started oscillating and it wouldn't stop," the 39-year-old said.
"It just sat there and just kept moving and I had to call for an official to come and figure out what the ruling was with that, and she said, hit it. Even if it's oscillating, you can hit it. I'm like, really? It's quite disconcerting, because how do you hit a moving ball? Because it can wobble a little bit, and you catch it not quite where you used to. I don't know, it can affect everything, and it did. I made double-bogey there.
"I think that the officials were fighting a bit of a losing battle," Stupples added. "Their heart was in the right place to try and get us out there and I really believe that it was the right thing to do is to try and get us back out there."
Suzann Pettersen agreed that canceling the round was appropriate under the adverse conditions. "I think it's only the right thing to do. The conditions were unreasonable and unfortunately it took two-and-a-half, three holes to realize that it was unplayable. I don't think from the players' perspective that there was any other outcome. It wasn't just unfair conditions, it was unplayable."
Michelle Wie also saw some strange things during her short time on the course. "My ball was barely staying on the tee on 12. I mean, it was about to fall off. It was just like wobbling all over the place," said the American, who opened with a 75 Thursday.
"When the gusts come over you, literally, (I) almost fell over a couple of times. I saw Cristie (Kerr) almost fell over on her shot. And especially on the 12th green, the balls were not staying at all. They were rolling, seven, eight feet."