The women’s Olympic golf tournament could be shortened to 54 holes due to an approaching tropical storm that will hit Kasumigaseki Country Club on Friday.
The planned 72-hole event is in jeopardy as playing cannot go beyond the closing ceremony on Sunday and the possibility of playing more than 18 holes in one day is restricted due to heat indices over 100 degrees.
“We have informed the players that we may need to be forced to cut down to a 54-hole competition,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, an official with the International Golf Federation, during a media briefing on Wednesday. “We won’t change [Thursday’s] Time schedule. We will play 18 holes as planned. We will play another 18 holes on Friday and then we will continue to follow this tropical system and see what Saturday brings. “
There have been problems with caddies suffering from heat exhaustion. Jack Fulghum, caddy of the American Lexi Thompson, had to retire during the opening round on Wednesday.
Daly-Donofrio said that, ideally, tournament organizers would let players know before the third round began that this would be the last game day for strategic decisions to be made.
“So that the players know what they are playing for,” she said. “But it will all depend on this forecast and what we see from our meteorologists. We hope the storm turns and starts and then can play our last round cleanly on Saturday.”
The game could spill over to Sunday if necessary, but the problem is that the weather forecast for that day is just as bad, said Daly-Donofrio.