|Having lost a whole day’s play on Friday, the Championship Committee met to review the format for the remainder of the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship with the primary objective of retaining the 72-hole format of the event.
Play was abandoned for the day at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, due to high winds. Round two is scheduled to start at 6.50am local time Saturday.
Earlier in the day the Rules Committee declared the scores returned Friday morning null and void in accordance with Rule 33-2d.
The competitors began their round in extremely adverse weather conditions and conditions subsequently worsened despite the belief that they would remain stable.
According to the official statement issued by Susan Simpson, Ladies’ Golf Union Tournament Director: “It would have been unfair to those competitors not to declare play null and void and cancel all scores for the round in question.”
A total of 36 players recorded scores on Friday morning at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club before play was suspended at 8:18 a.m. local time. Winds gusting up to 60 mph made it difficult for players to keep balls on the green or on the tee.
While officials had hoped to resume play mid-afternoon, the conditions had not drastically improved and the decision was made at 2 pm to suspend play until Saturday morning.
Having lost a whole day’s play on Friday, the Championship Committee met to review the format for the remainder of the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship with the primary objective of retaining the 72-hole format of the event. With weather conditions for Monday predicted to be similar to Friday (today) the Championship Committee decided that Round Two will be played on Saturday to completion and a cut will be made. The cut will be reduced from 65 plus ties to 50 plus ties, including amateurs.
Rounds three and four will be played on Sunday, with no redraw after round three. A two tee start will be utilised.
Prize money will be paid as normal to those players who make the cut. In addition, official prize money will be paid to those who would have normally made the cut under the original conditions of play.
This is in accordance with Clause F of the Championship Conditions as follows: The Championship Committee reserves the right to amend the Championship Conditions and the decision of the Championship Committee shall, in all matters, be final.
The forecast is for the wind to drop overnight for Saturday, with rain a possibility on Sunday, however winds of 25-35 miles per hour are forecast for Monday, which could have presented unplayable conditions once again.
Michelle Wie, one of the tallest players on tour, went out in the second group from the 10th tee on Friday morning and joked that this was one 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,” Wie said with a laugh. “I felt really tall and like I was going all over the place.”
The 2004 champion Karen Stupples teed off in the first group on Friday morning at 7 am and she said that while the wind was a factor throughout the few holes she played, she experienced something new on the third green.
“On the third, my ball started oscillating and it wouldn't stop,” Stupples 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.”
Suzann Pettersen commented: “I don’t think from the players’ perspective that there was any other outcome. It wasn’t just unfair conditions, it was unplayable.”
Next year, the Ricoh Women's British Open returns to an August 1-4 date at the Old Course, St Andrews with no Olympic Games to be taken into consideration for another four years.