Deluge forces historic decision at Australian Women’s Classic-Bonville

Trio of winners: Nicole Broch Estrup of Denmark, Jess Whitting of Western Australia and Chinese Taipei’s Peiying Tsai at the Australian Women’s Classic-Bonville presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios.

UNRELENTING wet weather on the last day of the Australian Women’s Classic Bonville presented by Pacific Bay Resort Studios compelled the officials to cancel the final round.

The historic decision was made on Sunday 7 April, and for the first time in the golfing tournament’s history, joint winners have been declared.

With the final round cancelled, Jess Whitting of Western Australia, Nicole Broche Hestrup of Denmark, and Chinese Taipei’s Peiying Tsai, who all carded opening rounds of six under par 66, have etched their names in history as the first-ever joint winners of the Australian Women’s Classic Bonville.

Annika Rathbone of the Australian Golf Club was declared the low-amateur with a score of three under.

Despite the daunting task of dealing with over 80 millimetres of rain overnight, the Bonville green staff made every effort to make the course playable.

This was in addition to the nearly 200 millimetres of rain the course had already endured since Monday.

Australia’s Whitting was delighted with the unexpected victory.

However, she acknowledged circumstances could have unfolded differently under normal conditions.

“It’s hard because I wanted a chance to go out there and play and prove myself.

“But then it’s also a great outcome because, who knows, I could have gone out there and not played well and fell down the ranks… but it’s out of my control.

“I’m pretty excited though, it’s a pretty cool thing to write down on the resume,” she said.

Broch Estrup arrived at the course earlier than she would have liked after an interrupted night.

She had adjourned to the range to practice before hearing the result.

“I was on the range.

“I just thought I would do something when I found out.

“I was woken up at midnight with the thunder and thought we were not playing any golf, then when I woke up a little nervous, I had a chat with my husband and got a nice message from Thomas Bjorn (Danish Olympic golf captain).

“I really wanted to play golf today.

“It’s unfortunate we are not playing.

“The course is not good, and we can’t do anything about the weather.

“Right now, it feels a bit weird, but a win is a win.

“Obviously, I’ll take it.”

Peiying Tsai was delighted to pick up her first win on the WPGA Tour.

Bonville Golf Resort General Manager Brad Daymond thanked the players for their patience in extraordinary circumstances.

“Obviously we are disappointed not to be able to proceed with the final round, but I don’t know if there is a golf course on the east coast right now that could have dealt with that much rain,” said Daymond.

As a show of goodwill, tournament promoters Golf NSW will issue a $500 payment to every player in the field to assist in travel costs incurred during the week.

“This is not how anyone wants to finish a tournament, but we felt that it would be unfair on players to hold them for an extra day with no guarantee of play being able to go ahead,” said Golf NSW Chief Operating Officer Graeme Phillipson.

“The staff at Bonville have done everything possible to stage a tournament for us this week, but these situations are even out of their control.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our past two weeks working with the LET and WPGA and hope to see the players and officials who have visited Australia this past fortnight back again next year,” he said.

“We understand that some players will be disappointed,” said WPGA Tour of Australasia CEO Karen Lunn.

“After inspecting the course it became clear that we could not complete 18 holes today and that there were no guarantees of finishing tomorrow.

“The Bonville greens staff have done everything they can to get our players on course but the volume of rain was just too much.”


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