(Gold Coast, Australia, February 22 2003) The third round of the ANZ Ladies Masters at Royal Pines GC has officially been abandoned after heavy overnight rain and a deluge on Saturday morning, flooded the course, making it unplayable for the 66 weekend qualifiers.
The $Aus800,000 event has been reduced to a 54-hole Tournament and leading the way on ten under par after rounds of 68 and 66 is Australia’s Karrie Webb, who will be hoping to fend off the strong challenge from England’s Laura Davies, who is one shot back after two completed rounds.
Sixty-six players made the cut, which fell at even par, a record for the Ladies European Tour, which makes Saturday’s abandoned play, even more disappointing for the expectant crowds.
Senior Tournament Director Andy Lott of the Ladies European Tour explained why the decision to abandon play was made:
“We were hoping that the weather would clear and the course would dry up enough to play, but despite the tremendous efforts from all of the staff, volunteers and the green keepers, the surface water is not going anywhere and it’s extremely soggy underfoot.
“The event will be reduced to 54 holes as we do not have enough daylight time to get another 36 holes in on Sunday.
“Fortunately, the weather forecast for tomorrow is much better and all we need is a little wind and some heat to dry the course and it will be in fine shape for tomorrow and we can get underway first thing in the morning.
“We will have a two tee start tomorrow and the matches will be played in three-balls to make sure we get everyone around the course.”
Australian Rebecca Stevenson is alone in third position on eight under par and there is a four way tie on four under par between Scotland’s Janice Moodie, Patricia Meunier Lebouc from France, Mexican Lorena Ochoa and New Zealander Brenda Ormsby, who is both the eldest, and the newest professional on the Ladies European Tour.
The winner will receive $Aus120,000 and for the European contingent, Solheim Cup points will count double for those who finish in the top ten.