Conditions at the McKayson New Zealand Women’s Open got about as bad as you’ll see during a professional event. Unfortunately, the decision to suspend play at Windross Farm came later than players would have liked—and it’s hard to argue with them.
Play was finally suspended for the day at 5:23 p.m. local time. The competition was halted early in the day for two hours owing to heavy rains. Play would be suspended another two times, totaling nearly three hours of delays (in addition to the initial two-hour delay).
Players were sent out again amid Biblically awful conditions at 4:53 p.m. The final stoppage of play came just 32 minutes later as cold rain fell.
Aside from lightning, there are few weather situations in professional golf that can legitimately threaten player safety. Gale force winds, however, can be dangerous when signage is blowing around the course.
Belen Mozo, tournament leader through 54 holes, was none too happy about being expected to play in such conditions.
You can see the Wizard of Oz-level stuff in this video from…
Mozo complained to an official after the round, saying “We are going to get hurt (by) a stupid sign. This tour, we’re like sheep!”
— Belén Mozo (@BelenMozo) October 1, 2017
Brittany Lincicome, also, was not pleased with how this situation was handled.
This is a freaking joke!!!!! ???????????? https://t.co/yzMiVvSx50
— Brittany Lincicome (@Brittany1golf) October 1, 2017
Danielle Kang voiced her displeasure on Twitter in a series of since-deleted tweets, taking issue with the lack of on-course shelter for players and fans.
“Players were in serious danger today from not having shelter available on the course. Players safety is #1 no matter the circumstances.”
Adding a crazy wrinkle to this already crazy situation: A massive storm is expected overnight. If the final round is washed out, Mozo, the 54-hole-leader, will win. That’d be a trophy presentation nearly as awkward as Roger Goodell handing the Lombardi Trophy to the Patriots last year.