Saturday, September 15, 2012
High winds cause havoc at Women's British Open
(Reuters) - Second round scores were scrapped in the Women's British Open at Hoylake on Friday after high winds gusting up to 60mph made it difficult for the players to keep their balls on the green or the tee.
Play was suspended after 78 minutes at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and the competitors will now return to the links course at 0650 local time (0550 GMT) on Saturday to start their second rounds again.
Britain's Karen Stupples, winner of the major championship in 2004, described the weather as "brutal" while Michelle Wie said she had "never seen conditions like that in my life.
"I came to the course at 5am. It was dark at that point and I was walking past the third hole and it was raining sideways," the American told reporters.
"The wind kept blowing and blowing and kept getting worse. My ball was barely staying on the tee on 12... it was just wobbling all over the place. When the gusts came you literally almost fell over.
"On the 12th green the balls were not staying at all. They were rolling seven, eight feet," Wie added.
Officials had hoped to resume play in mid-afternoon but conditions had not drastically improved and the decision was made at 1400 to suspend play until Saturday.
The cut will be reduced from 65 to 50 players at the halfway stage of the tournament before rounds three and four are played on Sunday.
The forecast is for the wind to drop on Saturday with rain a possibility on Sunday.
Wie, one of the tallest players on tour at six feet, joked that Friday was a day when her height was not an advantage.
"I think it's one day that's really good to be short because I felt like a flagpole out there," she said with a laugh. "I felt like I was going all over the place."
South Korean pair Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu led the way on Thursday after carding two-under-par 70s in the opening round.
World number one and defending champion Yani Tseng of Taiwan was part of a large group on 72.
(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Ken Ferris)