Delays No Good For Anyone


Weather delays continue to disrupt play at the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship held in Augusta, S.C.
Tournament organizers planned to complete Thursdays first round, delayed by heavy rain and lightning, at 8 a.m. ET on Friday morning. Fog prevented the shotgun start, delaying play for the second day in a row. Play finally resumed at 10:35 a.m. Friday morning and was completed at 1 p.m.
Officials made the decision to shorten the 4-day event to 54 holes. The field was split for the second round with 24 groups playing Friday and 24 on Saturday.
All of the afternoon groups from Thursday, with the exclusion of one, finished the first round Friday morning only to turn right around and start the second round.
The 24 groups able to complete the first round Thursday morning had an unexpected day off Friday and will play their second rounds starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Annika Sorenstam and her playing partners, sister Charlotta and Kelly Robbins, were the only afternoon group to finish the first round on Thursday. They joined the Thursday morning groups in a day off.
Upon the completion of the first round, two names joined the leaders. Rookie Beth Bader and Siew-Ai Lim of Malaysia matched Thursdays leading score of 5-under-par 67.
Bader was surprisingly unfazed by the disruptions. I didnt know what would happen today and in a way I think it was a blessing in disguise for me because the delay gave me time to get focused, Bader said between rounds. The delay didnt affect me and it didnt hurt my game either.
Lim recorded an eagle on the 476-yard par-5 6th on her way to 5-under. She was one of many players who had only a few minutes between the completion of the first round and the start of the second round.
Its not an understatement to say that things have not gone smoothly at this inaugural event. With people still reeling from the travesties inflicted on America, 23 players pulled out of the event, forcing officials to scramble through the alternate list and fill all 144 spots.
As the last official full-field money event of the year, this is the last chance for many to make their card for the coming year. The alternative - Q-school - sends shivers down many a spine.
Now many must deal with the added pressure of a cut on Saturday. For some, the time will be good for their games - they are the fortunate ones.
More than one professional golfer knows what it feels like to be on the bubble ' the bubble in this case surrounds 90th place on the LPGA Tour money list. Rookie Tamie Durdin is one of those players. Coming into the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship, Durdin is 91st on the money list with seasonal earnings of $82,413.
For players like Durdin, who shot an opening round of 5-over-par 77, interruptions in play just make things more complicated.
Completion of the second round will commence at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. The third and final round will be played on Sunday.
Full-field scores from the Asahi Ryokuken International Championship