Mysterious illness results in multiple WDs at LPGA’s Mizuho Americas Open

Paula Creamer of the United States looks on from the fourth tee during the first round of the Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club on May 16, 2024 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Paula Creamer was one of several players to withdraw from the Mizuho Americas Open citing illness.

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In the world of pro golf, withdrawals are a common occurrence. They happen just about every week for various reasons: family issues, injury, fatigue, and of course, illness.

But at this week’s LPGA Mizuho Americas Open, the WD list now stands at 10 — a number much higher than the norm. Six of those players posted scores in the opening round.

The withdrawals began with Caroline Masson, who withdrew due to illness on Thursday prior to the first round. Next was Maja Stark with illness, then Lindsey Weaver-Wright, who cited an injury.

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LPGA star Rose Zhang, the tournament’s defending champion, played three holes on Thursday before also withdrawing, citing illness. Zhang was coming off a dramatic victory at last week’s Cognizant Founders Cup and posted a few more details about her withdrawal on her Instagram story.

“I was really looking forward to trying to defend my title,” she wrote, “but unfortunately spent the last 12 hours with really bad intestinal pain.”

The next two players to withdraw, Ruoning Yin and A Lim Kim, cited injury, but when four more players withdrew on Friday (Haeran Ryu, Jiwan Jeon, Minami Katsu and Paula Creamer), the LPGA issued a statement to explain the circumstances.

“A total of 10 players have withdrawn from the field at the Mizuho Americas Open since play began on Thursday,” the statement said. “Medical professionals on site have treated several athletes for symptoms related to a viral infection. The LPGA and tournament organizers continue to monitor the situation closely, and are working together to advise and assist the LPGA athletes with precautions to try to keep everyone healthy.”

The origin of the virus remains unknown.

At the tournament’s halfway point, the field included 112 players, of which 58 now remain after the cut. Atthaya Thitikul (nine under) leads by two shots over So Mi Lee, who is making the most of her opportunity after gaining entry into the tournament field when Stark withdrew. Editor

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