Rose Ladies Series: Wentworth fire prompts premature finish

Rose Ladies Series Wentworth

The Chobham Common wildfire has caused the Rose Ladies Series Grand Final to be reduced to 36 holes, with all scores posted during Friday's third round expunged. 

Play was halted after the 40-hectare fire spread close to West Course at Wentworth where the final was taking place. 

Initially, organisers of the innovative circuit had hoped that play would be able to resume on Saturday.  However, those were dashed when the Major Incident Command Centre announced that Wentworth would remain closed due to the severity of the blaze. 

That left officials with no alternative but to bring the event - the last in an eight-tournament schedule - to a premature close.

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In a statement, former US Open champion Rose - currently contesting the US PGA Championship in California - said: "Our mission was to serve the ladies and provide an opportunity to play and sharpen up for their respective seasons. 

"A natural act of God forced us to this point, and Kate and I wish all the ladies all the best as they prepare for upcoming events."

LISTEN TO EPISODE 1 OF THE BUNKERED PODCAST

Rose Ladies Series Charley Hull

The cancellation of the final round meant that 36-hole leader Alice Hewson was crowned the winner of The Grand Final supported by Computacenter. The Berkhamsted ace led Charley Hull by a shot after two rounds, with Georgia Hall and Liz Young three shots further adrift. 

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By finishing second, Hull, pictured above, ensured that she finished top of the American Golf Order of Merit, narrowly pipping Hall to the top spot and £20,000 first prize, with Young third and Meghan MacLaren fourth.

The Chobham Common fire broke out as the UK recorded one of its hottest ever days, with the mercury rising to more than 36C in the south-east of England.

The Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) sent ten engines and a further ten 4x4 vehicles to tackle the fire, with smoke visible from more than ten miles away. As of Saturday afternoon, they were still battling to bring the blaze under control. 

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