Miyazato leads as rain delays continue
1. Non-sister act: Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato aren’t related. Let’s get that out of the way, first thing. They’re paired together along with I.K. Kim in the third round of the US Women’s Open. Mika leads the field at 5-under 139 while Ai is one shot back at 4 under and Kim sits at 3 under.
Only five players are under par through 36 holes. 2011 Kraft champion Stacy Lewis and Ryann O’Toole are tied at 1 under.
“Everybody thinks we’re sisters,” said Mika. “I think that way everybody could remember me, because Ai is playing great. … But we’re not related.”
Both Miyazatos hail from Okinawa, Japan. Both are 5-foot-2. That’s about where the similarities end. Ai, 26, has won six times on the LPGA Tour and is playing in her seventh US Women’s Open.
Mika, 21, joined the LPGA in 2009 and is making her third Open appearance. She finished T-7 at the Kraft this year and T-8 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.
The Miyazatos are friends, which should make their third-round pairing comfortable. (If they ever get started.) The pair spent part of Thursday’s delay engaged in what Ai called a little “girl talk.”
Both are dedicated to helping victims of the devastating earthquake that wrecked their homeland in March. They joined forces with Momoko Ueda to design a logo, “Makeruna Nippon,” which means “Never Give Up” in Japanese. Buttons that featured the logo were handed out at a player meeting earlier in the year.
“I decided to donate all my earnings from the major tournaments on the Japanese tour and the US LPGA Tour,” Mika said. “So whatever earnings I make from the major tournaments I will donate to the Red Cross.”
Interestingly, Mika’s only top-10 finishes this year came at the majors.
2. Brittany Lincicome might permanently leave a deck of cards in her golf bag after this week. On Thursday, Lincicome and Stacy Lewis killed time during a lengthy delay playing gin. On Saturday, during the third weather delay of the US Women’s Open, Lincicome was jonesin’ for a game in the snack shop off the 10th tee.
Weather delays have dominated the week, making it difficult to keep track of who’s doing what where. Players resumed the second round at 7 a.m. and began Round 3 at 3:15 p.m. By 3:49, they were back off the course, and play was called for the day at 6:19 p.m. The third round will resume at 6:45 a.m. Sunday.
Angela Stanford, who sits three shots back at 2 under, perhaps offered the day’s best suggestion on Twitter: “Here’s my input: 9 hole ladies league is in effect. 9 Sun and 9 Mon and cocktails after both 🙂 There, problem solved.”
3. Last-minute drama: Michelle Wie drained a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to make the cut on the number at 7 over. This marks the first time Wie has made the cut at the Open since 2006 when she tied for third at Newport.
“Well, I mean, not to put any pressure on me,” said Wie, “but I was walking up to the 18th green and everyone was like, ‘You have to make it to make the cut.’ I was like, OK.’ ”
And then, like, the ball disappeared.
4. Bent out of shape: Juli Inkster bent her putter toward the end of the second round and had to putt out with her wedge on the 18th. Inkster, 51, won her third and final US Women’s Amateur in 1982 over The Broadmoor’s Mountain Course.
The Hall of Famer bogeyed the par-5 17th and missed the cut by one.
5. Amateur hour: It comes as little surprise that an amateur named Jutanugarn made the cut at the US Women’s Open. It just might not be the one you expected.
Moriya Jutanugarn — who, at 16, is the older of the two sisters from Thailand — left sister Ariya’s bag this week to play in her first Women’s Open. After a second-round 69, she enters round three at 3 over, and currently is the low amateur among the five who survived the cut.
“It’s exciting because it’s a big tournament, it’s a major — my first major,” Jutanugarn said of her Open start.
Jutanugarn leap-frogged Amy Anderson on the leaderboard Saturday when Anderson carded a second-round 77. Her opening 69 left her near the top of the leaderboard for much of the first two days. Anderson also is making her first Women’s Open appearance, and turns 19 Sunday.
“It’s awesome, and especially that I’ll be playing, that just makes it all that better,” she said of her birthday.
Victoria Tanco also made her first cut in four consecutive starts after finishing two rounds at 5 over. Duke junior Lindy Duncan was at 6 over, and reigning US Women’s Amateur champion Danielle Kang was at 7 over.
Kang is the only player among the five amateurs to also have made the cut at last year’s Women’s Open at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.
–Julie Williams contributed
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