Saturday is traditionally moving day in golf, but at the 2018 Volunteers of America® LPGA Texas Classic, it was more like a golf marathon. High winds and rain postponed the tournament start at the links-style Old American Golf Club until late Friday afternoon, with only four groups finishing round one play. So, today, all of the players finished the first round of what is now a 36-hole tournament, and then, about half of the 143-player field ventured back out to start playing their final rounds. When play was called for darkness at 8:15 p.m., only 11 players had completed their rounds.
When the day ended, Nicole Broch Larson of Denmark was thought to be leading at -7, with four holes of her second and final round left to play. However, her score was adjusted after play with a one-stroke penalty.
On the 4th hole, Larson had consulted with an on-course rules official when her ball moved. The official determined that the ball had moved on its own; therefore, Larson was instructed to play it where it was, and would incur no penalty.
However, the rules official monitoring the telecast contacted the on-site LPGA rules committee with additional information that prompted them to review the video. Long story short, they determined that Larson did, indeed, cause the ball to move on the 4th hole, which is a breach of Rule 18-2 (Ball at Rest Moved by Player). She incurred a one-stroke penalty, which dropped her back to -6.
Larson is now tied for the lead with Gaby Lopez, Aditi Ashok, Jenny Shin and Sung Hyun Park. Lopez has seven holes of her final round left to play; Ashok, and Larson, have four holes of their final rounds left. Both Shin and Park will play their full 18-hole final rounds tomorrow.
After days of relentless rain and wind, the Texas weather finally started cooperating. Sunday is predicted to be another warm and sunny day, following a little morning fog.
Play starts Sunday at 9 a.m., with hopes that the tournament will conclude by end of day.