LPGA Forced to Alter 72-Hole Format at Pure Silk-Bahamas Classic
The LPGA Tour is visiting the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas for the inaugural Pure-Silk LPGA Classic, but with 12 inches of rain pelting the islands Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, tour officials have been forced to take some drastic measures.
A huge lake has appeared on what was Nos. 9 and 18. Four other holes on the Ocean Course at the Atlantis Resort are also unplayable. Maintenance crews are working around the clock to pump the extra water back into the ocean, but it is a time-consuming task.
The LPGA canceled play on Thursday and announced that 12 holes would be played on Friday for the first round. The schedule for Saturday is to play a second 12 holes. The decision will then be made on Saturday whether to play the full 18 holes or finish with a final 12 holes on Sunday.
LPGA Tour rules require a minimum of 36 holes played to deem the tournament an official event on the tour. Three rounds of 12 holes each would total the 36 holes necessary for official money for the players.
There will be no cut this week. The 144 entrants will play all three rounds, but only the top 70 finishers will be paid.
This is the first LPGA Tour event to be played in the Bahamas, and the players were looking forward to a good week of golf and recreation on Paradise Island.
The unusual format of only playing 12 holes each day should make for a dramatic tournament. Fewer holes means the players can’t afford a bad hole, and birdies become even more important.
Fewer holes also portends a multiplayer tie is very possible at the end of play on Sunday.
The tour is attempting to give new sponsor Pure Silk television exposure, the players official money and fans some golf to watch this weekend.
Jack Nicklaus is promoting 12-hole rounds for faster play and to help grow the game. The LPGA Tour is demonstrating to the world that there is more than one way to play tournament golf and make it entertaining.
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