TRINITY, Texas—The Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship has been shortened to 54 holes. Tournament officials made the decision Thursday morning after Whispering Pines Golf Club had received more than 6½ inches of rain since Wednesday morning.
As of Thursday morning, several holes held standing water, but Whispering Pines drains exceptionally well. Director of Agronomy Michael Dieckhoff and his staff of 43 maintenance workers are busy preparing the golf for the championship.
The first round, which was suspended Wednesday at 10:33 a.m., is scheduled to resume today at 2:30 p.m. Tournament Director Eric Fredricksen said the goal is to have 36 holes completed by Friday evening.
“That way we can have a comfortable final round of 18 holes on Saturday,” he said.
Although The Spirit has been plagued with heavy rains so far, the forecast for Friday and Saturday calls for sunny skies, no precipitation and temperatures in the mid-70s.
“We think the worst is over,” Fredricksen said. “Friday and Saturday should be absolutely beautiful and perfect weather for golf.”
Sweden current leads the International Team competition at 4-under par through five holes. France and Belgium were tied for second place at 3-under when play was called. Spain and Italy currently sit at 2-under. The Women’s U.S. Team birdied the first hole, but the U.S. Men had not completed the first hole when play was suspended.
The biennial Spirit International is a co-ed team best ball event contested by the top 20 golfing countries in the golf as determined by the combined men’s and women’s results from the 2012 World Team Amateur Championships. Each participating country sends its top two men and women amateurs along with a captain to represent it at The Spirit.
The players simultaneously compete in five separate events. Gold, silver and bronze medals are at stake in the International Team Division, as well as the Men’s and Women’s Divisions. The Men’s and Women’s Individual champions are determined by the players with the most strokes under par for the championship. The winner of the Men’s Individual competition will receive a sponsor’s exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
For live scoring and more information, please visit www.thespiritgolf.com.