In an uncommon, but not unprecedented, move, tournament officials cancelled the second-round of the Women’s British Open and tossed out all Friday scores recorded up to that point. Gale-force winds forced organizers of the final major of the season to call off play and declare scores, like Felicity Johnson’s quintuple-bogey 9 on the first hole, “null and void,” according to Rule 33-2d, “Course Unplayable.”
A statement from Ladies Golf Union tournament director Susan Simpson said, “it would have been unfair to those competitors” not to erase the scorecards of those who braved the elements in the early going at Royal Liverpool.
“The competitors began their round in extremely adverse weather conditions and conditions subsequently worsened despite our belief that they would remain stable,” Simpson said.
As unusual as wiping the slate clean is in professional golf, it has happened before, in the 2001 LPGA Champions Classic and 2003 Samsung World Championship, an LPGA spokesperson told us on Friday.
The Associated Press reported 60 m.p.h. gusts, which apparently blew Cristie Kerr’s ball off a tee three times, and players reported winds moving a ball on the green from 10 inches to about six feet.
The AP also reported that Kerr, Angela Stanford, Michelle Wie, and Suzann Pettersen -- among the 12 groups that teed off before officials suspended the proceedings -- were some of the players who urged officials to delete all early scores, which they subsequently did.
Pettersen, for one, was pleased with the decision.
"The sport we played this morning had nothing to do with golf," Pettersen tweeted. "Right decision is made now, restart 2 round early tomorrow"
When play resumes on Saturday at 6:50 a.m. local time (with a Monday finish a distinct possibility), Haeji Kang and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champ So Yeon Ryu will take the field at 2-under 70, one stroke ahead of a gaggle of golfers, including last week’s playoff winner Jiyai Shin, tied for second place. Yani Tseng, seeking a record-breaking three-peatin the contest, got off to an even-par start and is part of a logjam in 12th place.