Golf: Women to take the short cut to victory

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

ONLY four of the scheduled 43 matches had completed nine holes when the day's play was abandoned in the second round of the Weetabix British Open on the Duke's course here yesterday.

Europe's richest women's professional tournament in history, with prize money of pounds 300,000, of which pounds 50,000 will go to the winner, will now be decided over 54 holes instead of 72.

Greenkeepers were unable to cope with the continuous rain which left the greens waterlogged. The second round will be played today after which the leading 60 will go through into the final round tomorrow.

Spectators will not lose out: today, on producing their ticket for yesterday, they will gain free admission for the delayed second round.

Patty Sheehan, the US Open champion, leads after Thursday's opening round of 68, five under par, which left her one stroke clear of Sweden's Liselotte Neumann who had not started her second round before play was abandoned yesterday.

Those who did manage to play a few holes will restart their second rounds. Sandrine Mendiburu from France, who finished second to Laura Davies in the Italian Open at Frassanelle last weekend, will have mixed feelings. Mendiburu was one under par for the three holes she managed to play yesterday.

On the other hand Belgium's Florence Descampe will have no cause to complain. Descampe, who won the McCall's Classic in Vermont last month, had a first round of 71 but she yesterday dropped shots at each of the first two holes. It's an ill wind . . .

Yorkshire's Alison Nicholas, winner of the title at St Mellion in 1987, had not started her round and turned her thoughts to the Solheim Cup match at Dalmahoy next week.

'Victory in the Solheim Cup would help our Tour tremendously in the way the Ryder Cup helped the men,' she said. 'When we played at Lake Nona two years ago the Americans were big names to us.

'This year we know them and they know us. Our attitude has changed. We believe in ourselves, and the weather and course conditions will be different from what they are used to in America.'

She added: 'We love playing in front of big crowds and I am sure that the Scottish supporters will give us a big lift. We are all hyped up and playing well and all the team believe that we can win.'

(Photograph omitted)