2013 Evian Championship: Rain washes out 1st round of LPGA's 5th major

Richard Heathcote

Mother Nature put Inbee Park’s chase of an unprecedented fourth major title on hold when heavy rains forced officials to postpone the first round of the Evian Championship.

Heavy rain forced postponement of Thursday’s opening round of the Evian Championship until Friday, setting up a potential Monday finish to the LPGA’s fifth and final major of the 2013 season.

Some four inches of rain led to unplayable conditions on the revamped Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-Les-Baines, France, forcing officials to wipe out the scores of 15 players who were on the course after a two-hour delay to start the day.

"The course was in very good shape heading into the last couple of weeks, but the high temperatures really compacted the soil on the new course," Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s senior VP of tour operations, said in a statement. "With the excessive rain that we've had this week, the course is not able to absorb all the water."

World No. 1 Inbee Park, seeking to become the first professional golfer to win four majors in a season, will have to wait until Friday to begin the defense of her title, with the restart slated for 7:45 a.m. local time. Players will be cut at the end of the Saturday’s second round and organizers hope to finish the third and fourth rounds with 36 holes of golf on Sunday.

"It was pretty wet. I think we’ve just had too much rain and it came down harder than we thought it would," said Cindy LaCrosse, who was the early leader at 1-under after the first hole when officials halted play. "The greens just couldn’t hold that much water and the right decision was made, unfortunately for me. Hopefully tomorrow is better."

This is the first year that the tournament, formerly the Evian Masters, ranks as a major on the LPGA schedule. The recent downpours, combined with extreme heat and precipitation during a 14-month, multimillion-dollar overhaul of the course to get the track major-ready, made play impossible.

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