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Mika Miyazato takes lead before storm hits
July 10, 2011

Heavy rain and thunderstorms washed out the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open on Saturday after Japan’s Mika Miyazato had grabbed the halfway lead.

Only a handful of players managed to start their third rounds before play was halted, then eventually abandoned for the day because of dangerous lightning storms rolling in from the nearby mountains.

Tournament officials, who only completed the second round on Saturday because of foul weather on Friday, scheduled early tee-off times for Sunday in the hope of completing the final two rounds.

But with more bad weather forecast, a Monday finish is looming large for the third women’s major of the year, on the East Course at The Broadmoor.

Miyazato completed a second round four-under-par 67 Saturday to grab the halfway lead with a 36-hole total of five-under 137 that left her one stroke clear her of nearest rival, fellow Japanese professional Ai Miyazato, who fired a 68.

Despite sharing the same name and coming from the same Japanese Prefecture of Okinawa, the pair are unrelated, but are close friends. Ai is a former world number one with 22 professional wins to her credit while Ai has won just once, on the Japan Tour.

“Everybody thinks we’re sisters,” Mika said.

“That way everyone remembers me because Ai plays so great, so that’s good for me.”

South Korea’s Kim In-kyung, who led overnight when play was suspended by darkness, slipped back to outright third at three-under after a 69 but still feeling good about her chances.

“I’m very excited,” said Kim, who tied for third in 2008 and 2009 and finished fourth last year.

“I’ve been close a couple of times the last few years and I think I’ve learned a lot from it.”

Stacy Lewis, the winner of the first major of the season at the Kraft Nabisco, was tied for fourth with fellow American Ryann O’Toole at one-under after she had led by three but finished poorly.

“I’m pretty disappointed with the way I played the last five or six holes,” Lewis said.

“It was playing hard and I just didn’t hit any fairways. But my caddy told me ‘you’re in it, we still got two more days, two more rounds and you’re still right there.’”

World number one, Taiwan’s Yani Tseng, finished nine shots off the pace after her second straight 73 while the defending champion, American Paula Creamer, was in a six-way tie for sixth at even par.

“I’m very pleased. If someone had said would you take even par after two days? Yeah, I would,” Creamer said.

“Like I keep saying, I want that trophy back and I’m trying as hard as I can.”

Scores

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