Weather an issue at first day of LPGA Symetra Tour in South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Weather an issue at first day of LPGA Symetra Tour in South Bend


First it was the wind and then came the rain, needless to say the weather conditions were never quite right at Blackthorn Golf Course for the first day of the Symetra Tour Four Winds Invitational.

The wind in the early afternoon was frustrating for some golfers, especially for Penn graduate Kari Bellville, who finished the day +6.

"I shot +1 on the front nine," said Bellville. "But on the back it got a little windy, so I didn't play as good as I could have. "

Another golfer from Granger, Jennifer Hong (+4), also said she noticed the wind pick-up in her later holes.

Around 5:30pm the course was evacuated because of inclement weather. Storms in the area held up golf for over an hour. Officials with the tour spotted the thunder storm on the radar and made the call for a delay several minutes before the rain came pouring down.

"We have a radius of 10 miles that we get into where we start watching [the storm]," said Cathy Lawrence, Symetra Tour Operations Director. "At that point we monitor it and we allow for an evacuation procedure with Blackthorn and our staff to get our players off the golf course."

The course was still fairly wet when the pros got back on the fairways, but for one Michiana-native it was not an issue.

"I generally play well after rain delays," said former Clay HS golfer Katy Wilkinson-Harris. "It seems like every stop we make the rain follows us. [The rain] softens the course a bit and the wind dies down. It's not a bad thing."

Amy Meier, who finished Friday tied for the lead (-4), birdied three holes before the delay was called. Despite putting three bogeys on the board when golf resumed, she still had four straight birdies down the stretch to help build a nice lead.

"It was a little bit wetter and we didn't get quite the roll on the fairways," said Meier. "The Greens were more receptive though, so it was easier to get shots to stick."

Golf resumes at 7:30 Saturday morning.

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