The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 13, 2013

Rain halts play at Evian

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — The first day of play at the Evian Championship was washed out Thursday after heavy morning rain soaked the newly-designed course.

Players were on the course for less than one hour before being forced to come off, and organizers decided to restart the round on Friday with Thursday’s scores annulled.

“We’ve had nearly four inches of rain since Saturday and the golf course is extremely saturated at this point,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s senior vice president of tour operations. “It was clear when competitors were out this morning that conditions weren’t conducive to a fair and equitable competition. So the plan is to scratch those scores from today and have all players restart the first round tomorrow.”

Officials still hope to complete the tournament on time by playing 36 holes on Sunday.

“It’s a major championship, and the goal will be to complete 72 holes (on time),” Donofrio said. “So we’re going to continue to watch the forecast over the next couple of days.”

The weather forecast for Friday and Saturday is for clear skies and, providing there is enough daylight, players can usually keep playing until about 7:30 p.m.

It is not an unprecedented situation, especially this season, with 36 holes played on Sunday at both the LPGA Championship in June and at last month’s Women’s British Open.

“The one thing you can’t control is the weather. Our players are all professionals and they know this,” Daly-Donofrio said. “The LET (Ladies European Tour) players were joking in the locker room today that they have had so many tournaments that were delayed or canceled for rain this year.”

The tournament, formerly known as the Evian Masters, is making its debut as the fifth major on the calendar. Over the past year, architects have undertaken a multimillion redesign.

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