World No. 1 Jin Young and amateur Kaitlyn Papp didn’t make it off the first tee box on Sunday morning before play was suspended due to dangerous weather at the 75th U.S. Women’s Open at 10:10 a.m. ET (9:10 a.m. local time). Lydia Ko looked up in shock on the range at Champions Golf Club when she heard the blast through her AirPods.
A total of six groups had yet to tee off before play was halted. On Saturday, USGA officials moved up tee times for Sunday with the final round starting at 8:45 a.m. ET (7:45 a.m. local). Players were again starting on the 1st and 10th tees of Champions Golf Club’s Cypress Creek Course. Former No. 1 and 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn managed to birdie the first hole to pull to even par, four strokes behind leader Hinako Shibuno. Amateur Linn Grant is 1 under on the day through three holes and in a share of 14th.
The USGA’s official forecast calls for additional storms to move into the Houston area around lunchtime as a cold front makes its way in. Rainfall totals for the day were predicted to be half an inch. The storms are expected to clear for Monday, when temperatures are expected to drop and a strong, gusty wind comes in from the north. Roughly two hours into the delay, John Bodenhamer, senior managing director of championships for the USGA, told Golf Channel that the weather system that moved through the area dropped about 3/10 of an inch of rain at Champions Golf Club.
“Our crew is out now assessing that and we’ll make a decision as to give the all-clear hopefully very soon,” Bodenhamer said, explaining there was still electricity in the area. An all-clear would allow players to return to the warm-up facilities. Meanwhile, golf course staff could being squeegeeing landing areas. New putting greens at Champions, Bodenhamer noted, are draining well and ultimately are in good shape. Asked whether the final round would continue under lift, clean and place stipulations, Bodenhamer said the USGA is keeping its eye on course conditions.
“If the golf course is still unplayable, we’ll suspend play again and come back again when we’re able to play by the Rules of Golf,” he said.