GOLF, Ill. (July 17, 2019) – A pair of mid-afternoon storms forced suspension of second-round play at the Women’s Western Amateur at Royal Melbourne Country Club on Wednesday, with 57 players still on the course.
Ela Belen Anacona, of Buenos Aires, Argentina, held the top spot on the leaderboard overall at 4-under-par with five holes still to play when the final weather stoppage came at 4:14 p.m.
The second round will resume at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, with the top 32 players after 36 holes qualifying for match play. The championship match is set for Saturday.
“I was confident from tee to green,” said Anacona, 18, an incoming freshman at the University of Arkansas. “I think that was the difference for me today.”
Anacona, started her second round on the 10th tee Wednesday. She had just hit her tee shot on the par-3 fifth – her 14th hole of the day – into a greenside bunker when play was suspended.
“I was tired, but I wanted to play anyway,” she said.
Sixty players finished their second round, with Antonia Matte, 16, of Santiago, Chile, posting the low 36-hole score of even-par 144. Matte is an incoming high school junior.
Sarah Shipley, of Hastings, Michigan, was one back of Matte at 145 and is looking forward to the start of match play.
“I love match play, it is my favorite,” said Shipley, 21, a senior at the University of Kentucky. “I play more aggressive and comfortably. I have to give myself good chances.”
Play was stopped twice on Wednesday. The first suspension, called at 3:12 p.m., lasted just 45 minutes, with play resuming at 3:57 p.m. Just 17 minutes later, a second storm developed, forcing officials to suspend play for what proved to be the remainder of the day.
Contestants from 30 states and 12 countries are vying for the W. A. Alexander Cup, which was first presented in 1901 in honor of his wife Maude Alexander, the first president of the Women’s Western Golf Association.
The list of past champions spans more than a century, from legendary stars Patty Berg (1938, 1946, 1947), Nancy Lopez (1976), Beth Daniel (1978) and Cristie Kerr (1994) to modern stars such as Brittany Lang (2003), Stacy Lewis (2006) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2012).
Starting this year, the WWGA is partnering with the Western Golf Association for the Women’s Western Amateur and Women’s Western Junior Championships. With this new affiliation, WGA staff are assisting the WWGA volunteer Directors with tournament operations.