Rain Temporarily Halts Coates Golf Championship
You could say Mother Nature wanted to postpone the 3rd round of the Coates Golf Championship Thursday and early Friday. Florida’s blustery weather did temporarily delay play at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, dumping nearly three inches of rain on the world-champion course where the LPGA is hosting the world’s top women golfers.
But come Golden Ocala’s grounds keepers – as if they were some surreptitious Ninja warriors from the ecological realm – sweeping ferociously, mysteriously across the greens in the early and very cold hours of Friday morning to remove the water. The work began in a flurry at 3 a.m. as temperatures hovered just above freezing. By 7 a.m., the greens were all but dry. The Sunshine State’s caprice overcome. The 3rd round of the tournament started promptly – if slightly on the chilly side – at 7:30 a.m.
South Korea’s Ha Na Jang keeps her hold tight on the tournament’s leaderboard. The 23-year-old did a double bogey on the Road Hole and went for a birdie on the 18th. She held a one stroke lead over Lydia Ko and Haru Nomura as the third round got underway this afternoon.
Ko finished her second round early Friday.
The rain remained an afterthought during the remainder of Friday’s LPGA tournament. The 4-day championship may extend into Sunday, Feb. 7, to make up for Thursday afternoon’s storm delay. Saturday’s forecast is for a high of 62 with a 7 a.m. low of 40 degrees. The early morning rain forecast is 15 percent. The sky will be mostly cloudy throughout the day with a chance of rain increasing in the evening.
The Craft Beer Garden is 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The LPGA Junior Clinic is 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. with The Golf Channel coverage expected between 3 – 5 p.m. The Coates Golf Experience is 12 – 2 p.m. on Golden Ocala’s driving range. The awards ceremony is scheduled to follow play on the 18th green.
Tickets are still available: Single-day grounds tickets are $15. Single-day Craft Beer Garden is $25. Tickets for the championship are available online.