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Opening round of Pure Silk-Bahamas canceled due to flooding

Event will now feature 54 holes and will get underway on Friday morning
  • FLOODED: Shown is massive flooding on holes nine and 18 of the Ocean Club Golf Course at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. As a result, the first round of play of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic has been canceled, and the tournament has been reduced to 54 holes. Play will now begin on Friday. PURE SILK-BAHAMAS CLASSIC/GABE ROUX

KELSIE JOHNSON
Guardian Sports Reporter
kelsie@nasguard.com

Published: May 23, 2013

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With the ninth and 18th holes over at the Ocean Club Golf Course at the Atlantis Resort completely underwater due to 11 inches of rain on Tuesday, and the forecast calling for more rain today, organizers of the Pure Silk Bahamas Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Classic have decided to cancel the first round of the event and shorten the tournament to 54 holes.

Play is now expected to begin on Friday off the first and 10th tees with the first set of pairings teeing off at 7:25 a.m. The golf course will be closed to spectators until that time. The $1.3 million event has attracted some of the best female golf players in the world. A full field of players will play 36 holes before a final cut is made. Those who advance will play in the final round on Sunday. This is the first professional golf tournament on the LPGA’s schedule to be played in The Bahamas and the 11th tournament shortened by the world body, due to rain. The last time this has happened was in 2010, at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic.

“The damage to the golf course and structures caused by Tuesday’s heavy rain and winds was extensive and we are working around the clock to repair damages and drain the golf course so that we can present a first-class event for the LPGA, Pure Silk and the people of The Bahamas,” said Matt Truax, tournament director for Global Golf Management. “We thank everyone for their understanding and patience while we do everything possible to return the Ocean Club Golf Course to championship condition.”

No golf was played on Wednesday, but several of the female golfers were able to get in some practice shots on Tuesday. This is the first time in the country for a number of the players who are really enjoying the amenities at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. Brittany Linicicome is hoping to go fishing on her off day while Katherine Hull-Kirk has already checked out some of the rides and slides in the resort’s water park.

“It is very exciting. I only got to play nine holes yesterday (Tuesday), and it is a real bummer that I didn’t get to see all 18 holes yet,” said Linicicome, who came to The Bahamas on a cruise several years back. “This one is way better, playing here. I am from Florida, so for me personally being by the water, it is a very special place for me. I would love to be out on the water today (Wednesday) fishing, to go out on the water – this is my ultimate place to go. The course was great. I played the back nine, which I think is the front nine, it was on the water and very beautiful. The greens were stunning, fairways were great and hopefully this rain will go away and we can play some golf. The severity on how much rain we got was a shocker. Obviously being from Florida, it rains everyday there for us in the summer but yesterday with the lightening was pretty crazy.”

Linicicome is said to be one of the longest drivers in the sport right now. She made her debut on the professional scene in 2005. Since then, she has six top 10 finishes under her belt and five professional titles. As for Hull-Kirk, who has 10 career wins since she started on the professional tour in 2003, playing in The Bahamas is very special and by far the best international stop on the LPGA’s schedule.

Hull-Kirk said: “We actually started the year in Australia and then we went to Thailand and Singapore, so this will be our fourth international event. I think the anticipation to coming to The Bahamas has been building for weeks and weeks, everyone has been pretty much excited. We knew that there were other activities here involved and that had everyone looking forward to coming. With us being able to do that in the last couple of days was even more exciting. It is fun experiencing a new part of the world and enjoying ‘Mother Nature’ as well.

“Most of us did some practices on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully that will be enough preparation for Friday. We will probably use tomorrow (Thursday) to warm-up and get a feel for the grass, wind and all of the other stuff that is needed. I have been working really hard on my putting as of late. Out here if you are winning a tournament or are top 10 in a tournament, you are usually ranked top five in the putting statistics. Technically, whoever takes and makes the puts wins the tournament.

“I would love to come back. My husband is actually coming here to see it, he has never been here. The aqua park, I went there yesterday (Tuesday), been on some of the rides. I know the players are taking full advantage of facilities here and loving every minute.”

The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic will showcase one of the strongest fields of the year on the women’s tour, with all 10 previous winners in 2013 entered and nine of the top 10 women’s golfers in the Rolex Rankings competing. Among the players here for the tournament are the Rolex Rankings top three players inclusive of Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen.


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