LPGA stars racing to Japan after Bali volcano erupts

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Updated: Nov. 4, 9:24 a.m.

The volcanic eruption in Bali has shut down the airport there and left Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari in a race against the clock to make their tee times for Friday’s start of the LPGA’s Toto Japan Classic.

Munoz and Recari were in Bali in Indonesia with Jessica Korda and So Yeon Ryu for a Lexus Cup corporate outing this week when ash spewing from Mount Barujari’s volcanic eruption forced the cancellation of their flights out on Tuesday night. Munoz told GolfChannel.com that transportation officials announced that they did not expect the airport to re-open until at least Thursday morning with ash spewing one kilometer high and winds blowing the cloud into the airport.

“The airport was pretty crazy,” Munoz told GolfChannel.com in a text message.

Munoz and Recari were bound for the Toto Japan Classic when the Bali airport was closed while Korda and Ryu were scheduled to fly home.

Korda tweeted Tuesday:

Munoz said there were no direct flights out of Bali for her and Recari to Japan, meaning any more delays could jeopardize their ability to make their tee times in Friday’s start of the LPGA event. The LPGA and Japan LPGA are giving them as much lead time as possible to make it, though. When the Toto Japan Classic released tee times Wednesday morning, Munoz and Recari were listed as playing together, in the last tee time off at 10:12 a.m. Friday. 

A direct flight from Bali to Tokyo would take about seven hours. With a layover and connections, Munoz and Recari have a tight window to make it to Japan should any more delays occur.

Mount Barujari erupts about every five years, according to an ABC Online news report.