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Thursday's play canceled at Pelican, event reduced to 54 holes due to Hurricane Nicole

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Thursday's play at the Pelican Women's Championship has been canceled and the event has been reduced to 54 holes because of Hurricane Nicole, the LPGA announced Wednesday evening.

The storm is expected to hit the east coast of Florida early Thursday morning and work its way across the state.

The LPGA’s Pelican event is being contested at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, on the west side of the state. LPGA officials anticipate 1-3 inches of rain and strong winds with gusts up to 50 mph.

"The first round of the Pelican Women’s Championship will begin no earlier than Friday at 6:55 a.m. (ET)," the LPGA said in an email statement. "Friday morning’s forecast from our on-site meteorologist, who is constantly monitoring the latest data, includes a chance of a lingering thunderstorm. The Friday forecast is thankfully trending in a positive direction, and we will share additional information with you as soon as we can."

In reducing the tournament to 54 holes, the tour took into consideration a possible delay to the start of Friday's play, a full field and limited daylight hours.

This is the LPGA’s penultimate event, with the top 60 in the Race to the CME Globe points standing qualifying for the season-ending tour championship. The top 100 in points will earn exempt status on tour next season.

Golf Channel coverage is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET on Friday.