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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blown Away

As you probably know by now, the Ladies Golf Union (I inadvertently referred to the R&A in an earlier post -- my boo-boo) cancelled play at the Ricoh on Friday after they realized that even a wet links course is too fast when you've got 60mph winds.

Just for the record, I agree with their decision. This isn't about whether you should expect these conditions at an Open or not. It's about whether you intend to make everybody play in those conditions or not. If you send everybody out and the wind changes during the round so the afternoon wave has different conditions than the morning wave, that's the luck of the draw. But if you don't intend to send the afternoon wave out in it, and instead they're going to play the next day in a quarter of the wind, then the officials have artificially influenced the results. So I'm happy with what they decided.

In case you didn't hear, the scheduling has changed as a result. The 2nd round will be played today (ESPN2 will still broadcast from 9am until noon ET), then a cut will be made to 50 and ties -- a much smaller cut than normal.

Those players will then play 36 holes Sunday, and ESPN2 plans to carry it from 9am until 2pm ET. (That sounds about right to me -- with a 5-hour time difference and daylight giving out around 7pm over there, it sounds like they intend to go live until the end.) With the shorter field and barring any weather problems, that plan should work fine. Royal Liverpool is a fairly flat links, so fatigue really shouldn't be a factor.

Will this new arrangement favor any particular player? Opinions vary, but I think it favors my original choice, So Yeon Ryu. This is sounding more and more like the conditions in which she won her U.S. Open, and she's tied for the lead after the first round.

I'll be really interested to see how this turns out. The Ricoh was rescheduled because of the Olympics, so the weather conditions are not what they'd usually get. This could be fun! (At least for us viewers.)

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