The Rose Ladies Series Grand Final has been cut short because of the wildfire near Wentworth, with Charley Hull announced as the Order of Merit winner.
The famed West course in Surrey was evacuated during Friday’s third and last round after fire spread from Chobham Common, close to the 10th hole.
Series organisers have been unable to find an alternative date and venue due to the resumption of the Ladies European Tour with the Scottish Open next week. As a result the tournament reverts to 36 holes, which were played on Wednesday and Thursday at North Hants and Berkshire.
Alice Hewson, a rookie this year on the Ladies European Tour, who led going into Friday, has been declared the winner of the Grand Final Tournament, picking up a cheque for £10,000. As Order of Merit winner Hull won £20,000, which was sponsored by American Golf.
Kate Rose — who along with husband Justin founded the series two months ago having read an interview in Telegraph Sport with LET professional Liz Young who was organising a tournament due to the lack of competitive golf for English female golfers this summer — presented the prizes behind closed doors at Wentworth this morning.
The Roses, along with sponsors American Golf and Computacenter, had paid accommodation costs for players last night after play was provisionally suspended until 9.30am this morning. However, the wildfire blazed through the night, causing nearby homes to be evacuated, and, after meetings with the emergency services, it was decided that course had to remain closed on Saturday.
The three-day grand final followed seven one-day tournaments in June and July. It was the first time a professional ladies’ tournament was held on Wentworth’s revered West course.
Event organisers Excel Sports Management, including Justin Rose’s manager Paul McDonnell along with the Roses, worked throughout the night to try to find a suitable alternative date but with LET and LPGA Tours returning to full schedules including the AIG Women’s Open in Troon in two weeks time, a solution could not be found.
Justin Rose who was tied for second after two rounds of the US PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco said: “Our mission was to serve the ladies and provide an opportunity for them to play and sharpen up for their respective seasons.
“The last thing we want to do now is create a burden for them having to fit in the final round at a later date.”