Golf: Boutier clubhouse leader as weather trims LPGA Texas Classic to 36 holes

Boutier of France plays a tee shot at the second hole during the continuation of the first round. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - France's Celine Boutier's one-under par 70 was the best of the day among a dozen players who managed to finish the first round on Friday at the rain-hit LPGA Texas Classic.

As storms swamped the Old American Golf Club near Dallas for a second day, LPGA officials reduced the event to 36 holes, with play finally getting under way on Friday more than eight hours after it was originally scheduled.

That followed a Thursday storm packing extreme winds that allowed only 69 minutes of play. Those scores were scrapped and the tournament finally re-started on Friday, but the conditions remained so poor that organizers told ticket-holders to stay home.

Half the field teed off on Friday, with Boutier the best of those who made it into the clubhouse after a round that included four birdies and three bogeys.

Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh and American Katelyn Sepmoree were both in the clubhouse on 71.

South Korea's world number five Park Sung-hyun, the top-ranked player in the field, was six-under through 14 holes when darkness halted play.

South Korean Jenny Shin was four-under through 14 and compatriot Kim Sei-young was four-under through 12.

Japan's Haru Nomura is not defending her title after outlasting American Cristie Kerr to win last year on the sixth playoff hole.

But the sixth edition of the event features New Zealand's former world number one Lydia Ko, a winner last week in San Francisco; Canada's Brooke Henderson, who won last month in Hawaii, and Thai sisters Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn. Ariya ranks sixth in the world and Moriya won two weeks ago at Los Angeles.

Under the revised format, all 144 golfers are to play two rounds, with the top 70 and those tied earning prize money.

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