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May 25

So Lindsey, How Many Holes Tomorrow?

The LPGA Bahamas Championship

It’s a good question – how many holes are you going to need Sunday? Would you like to play a full eighteen to increase your one-shot lead, or would you worry about plummeting somewhere along the way, and letting one of the trailers in? We might as well ask the same questions of Eun-Hee Ji, Christie Kerr and Paula Creamer – how many holes do you need Sunday to close the gap and win this thing? Would you rather play 12 and hope the leader tanks, or do you want the full day, just in case catching up isn’t all that easy.

golf flood Here’s why we’re asking. The LPGA Bahamas Championship at the Ocean Club Course has finished its third round, which in numbers of holes, has accumulated 36, just enough to make the event official, however it turns out.

Yes, in the beautiful Bahamas, course officials have denied the LPGA permission to play the back 6 – I mean the back 9, don’t I? No, I mean the back 6, or a smattering of different holes that amount to that number.

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When one thinks of the Bahamas, one thinks of a sunny paradise where the climate is dependable on all eighteen fairways. All you have to do is stay on them. However, they have lots of ocean, and we’ve never gotten to the point where we can tell the ocean what to do. Before the new LPGA event, sponsored by Pure Silk, Mother Nature dropped one foot of rain on the golf course, in five hours. Now on a mainland course, I suppose that a forest fire, bear attack or oak blight could interfere with a tournament, but I’m almost sure they’d cancel it in case of the former.

It’s too bad that the ladies don’t get to see the six underwater holes, but it’s just as well to avoid course hazards like barracuda, sharks, sea urchins and moray eels, even though the current leader comes from a country that understands such things. Australian Lindsey Wright is a shot out front of Eun-Hee Ji, with Kerr and Creamer close behind. The thirty-four year old pro who originally hails from Tunbridge Wells, Kent (can you envision hobbits hitting fairway woods all over the place?) did well as an amateur, finishing second at the NCAA Championships with Pepperdine University, and as a finalist in the British Ladies Amateur. She’s won three Futures events, and lost the Jamie Farr in a playoff.

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golf flood 2 So get a load of these scores. You’ll probably never see them again – Lindsey Wright -7 at 38 and -8 at 82. Two of the3 holes have been re-designated par 3s, and the playing requirements don’t seem to be quite so diverse as usual. Catriona Matthews claims that she only used six clubs from her bag in the whole thing. More importantly, the weather report is uncertain, and we can only be thankful that the tournament doesn’t lie within the boundaries of the Bermuda Triangle. They could lose a lot more than six holes.

Regardless of external circumstances, Lindsey rattled off seven birdies on Saturday. It looked so skillfully done that my mind stopped for a split second to see if we were talking about Lindsey or Mickey Wright.

So, how many holes do you all want tomorrow? Lots of catch-up chances, or fewer chances to blow it? I guess that’s hard to answer until you get out on the first tee and see how it’s going, but we’ll hope that Sunday’s a better day in paradise for everyone.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.