Rain washes out entire day of play at Sybase Classic

Updated: May 19, 2006, 4:53 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The only people on the golf course at Wykagyl Country Club on Friday had squeegees in their hands.

Heavy rain and a saturated course forced LPGA officials to cancel play at the Sybase Classic.

Fifteen players have yet to finish their first round. They are scheduled to do that Saturday morning, with the second round to follow.

"We will finish the first and second rounds, make the cut and then assess the situation for whether we will play 54 or 72 holes," said Sue Witters, the LPGA's manager of tournament competitions. "The forecast is a little better for tomorrow."

Natalie Gulbis, Beth Bauer and Hee-Won Han all carded 3-under 68s Thursday before rain and darkness forced suspension of play. Sun Young Yoo was 2 under with one hole to play and was tied with Allison Hanna, Nancy Scranton, Kim Saiki and Teresa Lu, who all had opening 69s.

"We're supersaturated at this point," course superintendent Mike Scott said, holding a squeegee on the first fairway. "We've had 3 inches of rain over the last four days. We're maxed out because the low-lying areas hold water here. We have 10 guys pushing the water off."

The $1.3 million tournament, with a first prize of $195,000, was shortened to 54 holes by rain in 2000 when Annika Sorenstam won it for the second time.

There was rain throughout last year's final round but Paula Creamer closed her 70 with a 17-foot birdie for a one-stroke victory over Jeong Jang and Gloria Park. The win made Creamer, then 18, the youngest winner of a multiround LPGA event.

Creamer opened defense of her title with a 1-over 72, a much more impressive score considering she was 5 over after 11 holes. She again made a birdie on the par-5 18th, this one from 5 feet.

"It's kind of upsetting but there's nothing I can about do, I can't control the weather," Creamer said Friday. "After the birdie and the strong finish I was really excited for today."

Creamer spent an hour in a TV trailer watching last year's finish as ESPN filled Friday's air time.

"Watching last year's telecast made me even more anxious to get out there," she said.

The prospect of having to play 36 holes on Sunday didn't faze Creamer, who turns 20 in August.

"I've always been pretty tough out on the golf course. It's all about grinding," she said. "I like playing in bad conditions, that's when you grind. I would love to play 36 if we're going to be able to do that."

She wouldn't mind if the weather didn't turn perfect, either.

"I won in the rain before and I can do it again," she said. "Bad conditions will let you work your way up the leaderboard."

Sorenstam also had an opening 72. ... Shi Hyun Ahn, who shot a 75, was disqualified for not signing her scorecard. ... The closest player to Yoo among those yet to finish the first round was Annie Young. She was 1 over with five holes to play. ... The last LPGA tournament to play 36 holes on Sunday was the 2005 Michelob Ultra Open. Cristie Kerr won the event by five shots over Jill McGill.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press