PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Heather Bowie Young made five straight birdies while jumping from one side of the golf course to the other. Silvia Cavalleri was hitting the ball so well Friday she was sorry the Bahamas Classic was held on only 12 holes.
The slogan for the LPGA Tour is, “See why it’s different out here.” Was it ever.
Bowie Young and Cavalleri were tied for the lead at 6-under 39, which by numbers alone broke the LPGA scoring record by 20 shots. Not to worry. Annika Sorenstam’s 59 in Phoenix in 2002 still stands as the lowest 18-hole score in LPGA history.
“It was so bizarre,” Cristie Kerr said after the longest day on the shortest course.
Severe flooding earlier in the week left much of the Ocean Club under water. The LPGA decided to use the holes that were available, and two of those holes had to be converted into par 3s because bunkers had caved in from a foot of rain that fell in a five-hour stretch Tuesday night.
The hope was to complete three rounds of 12 holes to make the inaugural Bahamas Classic official. On the LPGA Tour, 36 holes have to be completed for it to count. Even with a 12-hole, par-45 course, that was going to be a challenge because of a three-hour delay for lightning.
Twenty-seven players failed to finish the round. The day ended with Na Yeon Choi sprinting to the final hole so her group could tee off before the horn sounded to stop play because of darkness. That’s not unusual. What was different was the routing. She was on the third green, and the final hole in the setup was No. 8, meaning Choi had to run around a lake, through some vegetation, behind the seventh green and across a dirt path.