Sun, May 06, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Park leads abbreviated, weather-hit Texas Classic

AP, THE COLONY, Texas

Park Sung-hyun got to six-under through 14 holes before play was halted by darkness in the weather-delayed first round of the abbreviated Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic on Friday.

After Thursday’s play was canceled and Friday’s began after a more than eight-hour rain delay, the tournament was reduced from 72 holes to 36. There is to be no cut, but only the top 70 and ties in the 144-woman field will win prize money.

Park, last year’s US Women’s Open champion and the top-ranked player in the field at No. 5, had seven birdies and one bogey to top the leaderboard at the 6,475-yard Old American Golf Club, which is hosting the event for the first time.

Fellow South Koreans Jenny Shin and Kim Sei-young were four-under through 14 and 12 holes respectively. Shin collected her only LPGA Tour victory two years ago at the tournament’s previous home, Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas.

Half of the players did not even start their first rounds.

Last week’s winner, Lydia Ko, and another former No. 1, Ariya Jutanugarn, were at two-under through 14 holes, as was Hall of Famer Laura Davies.

Celine Boutier of France shot a one-under 70, the best score among the dozen players who finished the first round on Friday. She took a three-hour nap after her 7am tee time was pushed back to 3:30pm.

Boutier called the playing conditions “pretty perfect, actually.”

“I was really surprised,” Boutier said. “We had barely any wind, and I feel like the course drained really well. There was no casual water, except for maybe a couple of holes.”

Kaohsiung-born Candie Kung of the US completed the first round, carding a two-over 73 to tie for 47th.

Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun, Hsu Wei-ling and Yani Tseng were to start their first round yesterday.

The first round was postponed from Thursday after only 34 golfers completed one or two holes because of morning rain and afternoon wind.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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