Rain dampens LPGA's return to Kingsmill

It wasn't exactly the return to Kingsmill LPGA Tour golfers — and fans — had in mind Thursday.

Throughout the morning, the blue sky that painted the River Course for the Kingsmill Championship turned ominous.

As the sky became gray and the thunder boomed, fans and volunteers had umbrellas ready in case of a downpour. They didn't have to wait long as play was suspended at 12:24 p.m. because of thunderstorms.

Players, fans, caddies and course officials rushed for cover at the clubhouse as the air horn sounded.

"We kind of had a warning it was coming," said tournament director Katherine Thigpen.

She said metrologists kept officials updated every 15 minutes after the delay started.

Christina Kim, who finished with a 5-under 66 Thursday, was the leader coming into the clubhouse at the delay.

"I feel for the girls that are out there," she said. "That's going to make for a long day."

Numa Gulyanamitta, who did not tee off before the rain delay, took to Twitter.

"Rain delayed," she tweeted (@NumiGuly). "First one of my rookie year!"

"Craziness in the clubhouse for this rain delay," tweeted Alena Sharp (@AlenaSharp), who was 2-under through 15 at the delay (she finished at par-71). "2 and a half holes left!"

Fans on Twitter were disappointed at the inclement weather as well.

"Thank you thunder storm for ruining my day," said Sarah Bailey (@Skibby) of Newport News. "No LPGAXbox it is!"

Kim praised the work Kingsmill's grounds crew did in the run-up to the tournament.

"The course is in phenomenal shape, to be honest," she said. "The grounds crew have done a wonderful job."

Kim acknowledged, however, that rains effects the course no matter how well-maintained it is.

"The fairways aren't going to be as firm," she said.

Some players benefited from the rain.

"You have to play your best," said Beatriz Recari, who finished 6-under 65.

"I think the rain helped me," said Jiyai Shin, who finished with a tournament-record 9-under 62. "The rain helped make the greens softer."