INCHEON, South Korea – They came in one by one, squeaking their way across the tile of the clubhouse with a look of sheer exhaustion. It was a full day in the rain at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club. Play was suspended at 5:42 p.m. local time on Friday due to darkness. The last group on the course has completed six holes.
The earliest Round 3 might resume on Saturday is 2:30 p.m. But it’s also possible that the last four-ball session won’t conclude until Sunday, before a wild-card playoff and singles play. A Monday finish is most definitely on the table.
It’s all in the hands of Tropical Storm Kong-Rey.
“It was grueling out there,” said Michelle Wie.
Jessica Korda thought the course setup felt more like a major championship than match-play event. She also wondered why officials didn’t try to get in more holes on Thursday, when the weather was absolutely gorgeous all day.
“We all knew what the weather was going to be like,” Korda said. After all, the tour was tracking a typhoon.
Cristie Kerr had similar thoughts after the morning session.
“I had two 5-woods and two 3-woods and a hybrid into par 4s today,” she said, “and we had nothing over a 6-iron yesterday. I don’t think they’ve adjusted for the conditions. Especially with the pins. With 3-woods and 5-woods, they were brutal.”
Wie actually had to lay up on the par-4 ninth.
“I found that the ball wasn’t flying anywhere,” said Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist. “I thought I hit a great 3-wood on 12; went 160 yards. So just, I mean, the wind is so strong. It’s cold. Hasn’t been any roll all week so the course is playing long as is, but with the conditions it’s playing even tougher.”
England leads Pool A with seven points and the U.S. leads Pool B with six. South Korea’s Sung Hyun Park and In-Kyung Kim carried the biggest lead when play was suspended – 4 up through eight holes over the formidable English pairing of Georgia Hall and Charley Hull. Four of the eight matches carry only a one-hole advantage.
After delivering a massive victory in Round 2 over South Korea, Australia’s Katherine Kirk and Su Oh carried on in the afternoon, holding a 3-up advantage over Taiwan’s Phoebe Yao and Wei-Ling Hsu.
The LPGA’s official weather statement calls for widespread rain Friday night and into Saturday afternoon, with an additional 2 to 4 inches. The rain is expected to stop around 3 p.m. local time, with the strongest winds extending from daybreak to 5 p.m. Sustained winds of around 30 mph are predicted with gusts of 40-45 mph.