Sep 15 2012
Organisers of the Ricoh Women's British Open are still hoping to crown their champion at Hoylake tomorrow - despite aborting the second round on Friday.
To the relief of those who came a cropper during 78 minutes of battling winds with gusts up to 60mph, play was called off and all scores wiped out. Weather permitting, a fresh start to the second round will be made on Saturday morning and then a cut will be made in the evening to the leading 50 players and ties.
Normally it is the top 65, but a smaller field will make the goal of playing 36 holes on Sunday to complete golf's last major of the season more achievable. South Koreans Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu were joint overnight leaders on two under par.
Last year's US Women's Open champion Ryu was among the 48 players who teed off on Friday and she bogeyed the long 10th, but then came the stoppage and the decision to declare all scores null and void.
"The competitors began their round in extremely adverse weather and conditions subsequently worsened despite our belief that they would remain stable," said tournament director Susan Simpson.
There were, inevitably, complaints that play should have been called off sooner, but Simpson said the level of anger was only about "five or six" on the Richter scale. It would have been a lot higher, of course, if the worst sufferers had been told the holes played counted.
England's Felicity Johnson, joint leader early in the first round, had dropped to next-to-last on 14 over par when she ran up a quintuple bogey nine at the first, bogeyed the second and double-bogeyed the third. Instead she was able to resume back on six over.
Former winner Karen Stupples described conditions as "laughable" after she double-bogeyed two of the first three, while Norwegian star Suzann Pettersen said on Twitter: "The sport we played this morning had nothing to do with golf".
Michelle Wie described seeing fellow American Cristie Kerr knocked off her feet by the wind and said the same almost happened to her on the exposed 12th tee.
Kerr had trouble getting her ball to stay on the tee there and on reaching the green playing partner Erina Hara had a two-foot putt blown eight feet past the hole.