Blizard wins rain-shortened Lanhai Open

Australia’s Rohan Blizard had just hit his opening tee shot in the final round of the Lanhai Open, a drive right down the middle of the fairway, when officials blew the horn halting play because heavy rain had caused unplayable conditions.

The rain subsided enough to get players back on the course, but Blizard, playing in the final group with China’s Zecheng Dou and American Jarin Todd, only played two holes before the rain came again.

Rohan Blizard Rohan Blizard (Credit: PGA Tour China)

Officials assessed the forecast and the course and elected to cancel the final round, giving Blizard, the 54-hole leader, the title. Dou and Todd tied for second.

“Our intention is to always play 72 holes. 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.”

The fourth, sixth and 16th greens were especially problematic. Carlson 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.

“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.”

Dou was especially regretting his final hole of the third round Saturday. He made a bogey that dropped him into a tie for second. That mistake cost him what would have been a playoff with Blizard.

Even by finishing second, Dou actually increased his lead in the Order of Merit, surpassing the ¥500,000 mark in season earnings. After the Cadillac Championship, he held a ¥163,200 advantage over No. 2 Alex Kang. With his ¥105,600 payday Sunday, he now leads Kang by ¥259,195.

With his victory, Blizard moves into third on the Order of Merit, some ¥72,000 behind Kang. “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 added.

Blizard and the rest of the players will observe a one-week break in the schedule before the Series resumes at the Nanjing Zhongshan Open, June 23-26, in the Jiangsu Province of Nanjing.