SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – The third round of the LPGA State Farm Classic was postponed Saturday because of thunderstorms.
Heavy rain suspended play for four hours before the round was halted with 46 players still on the course. The round is scheduled to resume Sunday morning, but rain is expected again.
Second-round leader M.J. Hur and Cristie Kerr sit atop the leaderboard at 13 under. Amy Yang, playing in the final group with Hur, and Anna Nordqvist are a shot back. Morgan Pressel, who was through 16 holes when play was stopped, is tied with Alena Sharp and Gwladys Nocera at 11 under.
Juli Inkster, a 31-time winner on the tour, torched the front nine at Panther Creek Country Club, shooting a 6-under 30, but two bogeys and a birdie on the back nine left her at 10 under with three holes to go in her third round.
Hur, a 20-year-old from South Korea, was unfazed by the delay. She ate some snacks, watched the storms and joked with friends. She’s even less concerned with the long day that awaits most of the field on Sunday.
“Everyone is the same … it doesn’t matter,” she said, smiling. “Another storm coming tomorrow I heard … hopefully sunshine.”
Last year’s money leader on the Duramed Futures Tour, Hur’s said she isn’t nervous about her first lead in an LPGA event.
“I feel every day the same,” Hur said. “This is serious, but I try to just have fun and enjoy it.”
Kerr, a veteran from Florida, could have been especially frustrated when the horn blared. She had just birdied the the par-4 No. 4 and was staring at a short putt for birdie on No. 5 when the round was postponed.
“You take it in stride,” Kerr said. “I’ve been out here 14 years now so I’ve seen my share of delays.
“You’ve just got to keep moving. You can’t sit around for four hours and then go back and play. I can still ride the momentum. You can’t think that the delay will stop the momentum.”
Michelle Wie and Natalie Gulbis were both even on the day and sit 7 shots back at 6 under. Wie was through 11 holes and Gulbis 10.
Mena Harigae aced the par-3 2nd hole, running a 7-iron 162 yards and into the cup.
The last time a round in this event was rained out was 2003, when heavy rains forced the cancellation of the fourth round. Third-round leader Candie Kung was declared the champion that year.