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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shots in the Dark

One of the more interesting stories this week -- at least, in my opinion -- has been the ladies' struggles at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

Of course, virtually all the tours -- be it the PGA Tour, the European Tour, or the Champions Tours -- play in Malaysia at some time during the year. And if you've watched any of those tournaments, you know that rain eventually becomes a problem. Malaysia gets a lot of rain, sometimes every day; according to Wikipedia, they get around 98 inches of rain per year and October is right in the middle of monsoon season. (Of course, when your monsoon season lasts from April to February, that's not so unusual.)

Karrie Webb mentioned after finishing her round Saturday that designers all over the world could learn quite a bit from the Kuala Lumpur course where they're playing, as the course has taken a tremendous amount of rain this week and has still remained playable. But that doesn't mean play has gone quickly. The delays have taken their toll.

And what fascinates me is that the second and third rounds have extended well into the night because of them. As a result, some of the players were forced to finish their rounds under artificial lights! Did you know that the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club has artificial lighting so you can play at night? Although the cameras make it look much lighter than it really is -- I wish they would shut down the irises sometimes to show how dark it actually is -- you could still see the players' shadows on the greens as they tried to line up their putts! That doesn't make it any easier to post a good score.

Yet, perhaps even more interesting is that the three leaders have played under the lights in both rounds! Leaders Na Yeon Choi (-15), Inbee Park (-13), and Karrie Webb (-11) have posted better rounds than the rest of the field despite that disadvantage. Just to round out the top 5, Paula Creamer sits as -10 and (almost certain to be) Rookie of the Year So Yeon Ryu is at -9.

The leaders are about halfway through the final round as I'm writing this, so I don't know if they'll have to face more rain delays or not. But given how frustrated some of the players seemed after the third round, I imagine they'll be very happy to get this tournament in the books... and get dried out before heading to South Korea next week.


  1. The rain is sometimes a problem, but at least we can play all year round. KLGCC is a difficult course, the Maybank Malaysian Open which Louise won is played on a different 18 than the Sime Darby LPGA

  2. At least they have those lights up, Ramzi. If more courses had them, they might attract the golfers who can't play until after work.