Miyazato on top at US Women’s Open

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Mika Miyazato leads her compatriot and namesake Ai Miyazato by one shot at the rain-hit US Women’s Open.

Mika Miyazato leads her compatriot and namesake Ai Miyazato by one shot at the rain-hit US Women’s Open.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms washed out the third round at Broadmoor East Course in Colorado Springs on Saturday, after Mika had grabbed the halfway lead earlier in the day.

Mika lies on five under 137, one shot clear of Ai and two shots clear of Korea’s In-kyung Kim, who led overnight.

Americans Stacy Lewis and Ryann O’Toole are the only other players under par. Both lie on one under for the tournament, four off the lead, while a total of six players are even par – Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford, Wendy Ward, Lizette Salas, Eun-Hi Jee and Sun Young Yoo.

Only a handful of players were able to start their third rounds on Saturday, meaning the majority of the field will face a marathon 36-hole day on Sunday to wrap up the event and determine who will win the year’s second major. More bad weather is forecast, however, and a Monday finish is a distinct possibility.

Mika shot a second-round 67 on Saturday to take the lead over Ai, who shot a 68.

Despite both sharing the same name and hailing from Okinawa, the Japanese duo are unrelated – though they are close friends.

Of the two, Ai is the most seasoned performer, having won 22 times on the LPGA Tour and held the world number one spot for a while, while Mika has just one Japan Tour victory to her credit.

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

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

Overnight leader In-kyung Kim slipped down to third after a 69, but still felt good about her chances.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

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

Stacy Lewis, winner of the first major of the season, the Kraft Nabisco, wasn’t happy with the finish to her round. She led at one stage, but let it slip with bogeys at 14 and 18, and a nasty double-bogey on 15.

“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.'”

Paula Creamer is five shots back, but she realises the tournament is far from over.

“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.”

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