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Jutanugarn closing gap on Smith at USWO

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Ariya Jutanugarn managed to move a shot closer to Sarah Jane Smith in Saturday morning’s finish to the suspended second round of the U.S. Women’s Open.

Jutanugarn made two birdies and a bogey over the 10 holes she played after answering a 4 a.m. wakeup call, closing out a 2-under-par 70. She’s three shot behind Smith, who is at 10 under after posting another 5-under-par 67 Friday, before the weather delays hit in the afternoon.

The third round concluded shortly after noon on Saturday, with the third round scheduled to begin about 12:45 p.m.

Almost an inch of rain fell overnight, leaving a soggier course for the 78 players who had to return to Shoal Creek to finish their rounds.

“It was dry mud yesterday, now it’s back to wet mud,” Mo Martin said.

Su Oh (70-68), who also finished Friday, is four shots back, but nobody else is closer than seven shots of the lead. Count world No. 1 Inbee Park (70-71) and Michelle Wie (69-72) among the eight players who are tied for fourth.

“I’m not thinking about my position,” said Jutanuran, who won the Kingsmill Championship just two weeks ago. “But I’m really happy with my game. It’s really been improving. My short game is getting better.”


Full-field scores from the U.S. Women’s Open


Wie had to return early Saturday to finish 11 holes.

“I wish I made a couple more birdies today, but at the same time I grinded it out, made a lot of par putts,” Wie said. “I’m really happy with the position I am in, and I hope to give myself a couple more birdie chances the next two rounds and try to make something happen.”

The cut was made at 4 over, with 63 players making it.

Defending champ and Rolex world No. 4 Sung Hyun Park (76-77) did not make the cut. Neither did world No. 2 Shanshan Feng (78-74).

Seven amateurs made the cut, with 18-year-old Swede Linn Grant (69-72) leading the way. Lucy Li (72-74), the youngest player in the field at 15, made the cut. She was 11 when she became the youngest player to qualify for a U.S. Women’s Open.