Australia’s Rohan Blizard had just hit his opening tee shot in the final round of PGA Tour China’s Lanhai Open when officials blew the horn halting play due to heavy rains and unplayable conditions. While the rain eventually subsided enough to get players back on the course for a short time, the rain soon returned, forcing officials to cancel the final round, giving Blizard, the 54-hole leader, the title.
“Our intention is to always play 72 holes,” explained Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA TOUR China Series Executive Director Greg Carlson. “Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate today, and that much water in such a short period of time made it impossible to finish the final round. Lanhai International drains very well, but the consistent showers that started early and didn’t let up left parts of the course unplayable.”
The fourth, sixth and 16th greens were especially problematic. Officials had hoped for a window where the rain would let up in the afternoon, giving half the field a chance to finish its round and opening the door for a Monday finish. But the rain continued to fall, and by 6 p.m., it was still coming down.
“The course was too saturated and just couldn’t hold any more water,” Carlson added. “When we called the end of play at 2:40 p.m., there was no choice but to cancel the fourth round and revert back to the third-round scores, making it a 54-hole, official event.”
With the victory, Blizard moved into third on the Order of Merit, while it also gave the 32-year-old a boost in confidence moving forward.
“It’s a different feeling winning without having to play a final round,” said Blizard. “To me it hasn’t sunk in yet because I’ve only played three rounds. But I’ll definitely take the win and feel good about it.”
“I was close [to winning] a couple of times last year, so it’s definitely nice to get it off my back, to win pretty early in the year. We still have more than half the season to play, so hopefully I’ll be able to get into contention again during the second part of the year,” he added.
“I would definitely like to get another win out here, especially over 72 holes. I think (Zecheng) Dou is playing especially well at the moment. He’s won twice already and now finished in the top five in three of his four tournaments. He’s definitely going to be tough to catch throughout the rest of the season,” Blizard said.