Severe winds wiped out the second round of the Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Friday, but organizers insisted they were determined to finish the event by Sunday.
Play started at 7am local time in the final major of the season, but was stopped at 8:18am as winds reached gusts of 97kph and balls moved on several greens.
At 11am it was decided, in accordance with Rule 33-2d, that the early day’s play should be declared null and void.
Three hours later it was decided to suspend play for the day.
In order to try and get play finished by Sunday, the cut has been reduced from the top 65 and ties to the top 50 and ties. The top 65 and ties will all receive prize money.
Rounds three and four will take place on Sunday with a two-tee start and no redraw after the third round.
South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon, joint overnight leader on two under, was one of the early starters on Friday and she had played one hole, taking a bogey six at the long 10th, her first hole.
However, the rule decision meant she is now back tied at the top with another South Korean, Haeji Kang.
Michelle Wie of the US was out in the second group at 7:10am and managed to play three holes before the suspension.
“It has been a long day,” said the US Solheim Cup player, who finished third in the Women’s British Open as a 15-year-old in 2005.
“When I arrived at the course at 5am it was raining sideways. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.
“It was fairly sheltered by the tents when we set off but by the time we got to the 12th it was clearly unplayable,” added Wie, who started her round at the 10th.
“When you have to call a rules official six times on a green then you know it is bad. I am so tall I felt like a flagpole. I thought I might fall over when I tried to hit the ball and it was definitely the right call,” Wie said.
Susan Simpson, the Ladies’ Golf Union’s Head of Operations, defended the decision to start play in the morning.
“The course was playable when we started, but then the wind rose and play was not possible on the holes close to the sea,” she said.