Women face slog as British Open is blown off course


One of the highlights of the women's season – the British Open – was blown off course when St Andrews took a fearful battering from the wind.

An hour before the leader Na Yeon Choi, who was 10 under par after 36 holes, was due to tee off, play was suspended because winds of up to 40mph were so strong that balls were being blown off the greens. Of the nine players who finished their rounds, the best score was a 75.

There was no possibility of a resumption, which means the leaders face the prospect of playing 36 holes today, with play due to resume at 6.15am, if the weather allows it.

"It's still going to be windy tomorrow – not, hopefully, as windy as it's been today, but there's no let-up in it," said Susan Simpson, the head of operations for the Ladies Golf Union. "It's still going to be very breezy and equally difficult conditions."

Simpson said the tournament could be extended to Monday if necessary, which would lead to chaos for the Solheim Cup captains, Meg Mallon and Liselotte Neumann. This is the final qualifying event for the cup, which starts on 16 August in Colorado. They are to announce their captain's picks two hours after the Women's British Open is over.

Inbee Park, the remarkable 25‑year-old Korean, still hopes to become the first golfer, male or female, to win four professional majors in the same year, but she is struggling. She started eight off the pace yesterday and played four holes picking up a stroke. She had been praying for tough conditions to help her cause.