Heavy rain washes out play in Blue Bay LPGA

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Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course (Amelia Lewis via Instagram)

HAINAN ISLAND, China – Heavy rain washed out play Friday in the Blue Bay LPGA, forcing tour officials to cut the inaugural tournament from 72 to 54 holes.

Jessica Korda topped the leaderboard after the first round at 6-under 66. The 21-year-old American had yet to start the second round when play was called off.

Michelle Wie and Chinese star Shanshan Feng were a stroke back long with American Brittany Lang, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, England’s Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Germany’s Caroline Masson.

The start of play was delayed 2 1/2 hours and the first group was only able to complete six holes before play was suspended at 12:19 p.m. Play was called off for the day at 2:30 p.m.

The final two groups were unable to start play.

“The course actually held a ton of water because we even got a ton of rain before we even started this morning,” said Austin Earst, who has 2 under through six holes to reach 3 under. “But you couldn’t really tell. I kept being aggressive because it was a little soft around the greens.

“I have no idea what kind of drainage they have here, but it’s obviously really good. We had to of had at least two inches. The greens were getting pretty wet once they called play.”

The tournament is the fourth stop on the six-tournament Asian Swing. The LPGA Taiwan Championship is next week, followed by the Mizuno Classic in Japan.