SYLVANIA, Ohio (AP) – Nasa Hataoka of Japan was named the LPGA Classic Marathon winner when the final lap was washed out by relentless, heavy rain on Sunday.
Hataoka had a six-shot lead over Elizabeth Szokol and Mina Harigae. She won her fourth LPGA Tour and her first LPGA title in two years.
The final loop started at 7am with the hope of beating the rain. It only took a few hours before Highland Meadows was soaked and soon became unplayable.
Donna Mummert, LPGA’s senior rules and competition manager, said the greens were the first problem when the tournament was due to resume. In the afternoon, the fairways were so soaked that the LPGA had no choice but to end the tournament.
The LPGA said the forecast for a Monday end was not favorable and it didn’t help that the Evian Championship – the fourth LPGA major of the year – should start on Wednesday.
The defending champion Danielle Kang drew the third hole with a birdy in eight strokes and wanted the LPGA to have more resources to deal with the weather.
“There’s still 18 holes of golf out there,” said Kang. “I played three of them. I always see golf tournaments as 72-hole tournaments. So if we don’t finish 72 holes … and it’s not the LPGA’s fault, it’s not anyone’s fault. Sometimes we don’t have enough resources. “
She didn’t go into what resources might have made a difference.
The tournament was a 54-hole event in the early 1990s.
Hataoka lost to Yuka Saso in a playoff at the US Women’s Open last month. Her last LPGA Tour win was the Kia Classic in 2019, though she won twice at the Japan LPGA later that year.
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