Severe storm postpones finish of US Women’s Open

Agence France-Presse
Severe storm postpones finish of US Women’s Open

DROP. Yuka Saso falls off the leaderboard after a dismal third round.

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

Filipina Yuka Saso is at joint 32nd place going into the final round of the US Women's Open

Dangerous weather halted play for the final round of the 75th US Women’s Open – where Filipina Yuka Saso competes – before leaders could even tee off, setting up a Monday, December 14 (Tuesday, December 15, Manila time) finish to the year’s last major golf championship.

Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, the 2019 Women’s British Open champion, led on 4-under par 209 after 3 rounds with American Amy Olson one stroke back at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas.

US Golf Association officials stopped play 25 minutes before Shibuno was set to tee off in the final group and called off play for the day about 3 1/2 hours later “due to course conditions and anticipated inclement weather.”

The course has received .73 of an inch of rain in the past 24 hours, said USGA senior managing director of championships John Bodenhamer.

“We want to ensure course conditions are worthy of crowning a major champion,” Bodenhamer said.

Golfers were in threesomes and tee times had been moved up to try and finish by sunset, but the final 3 groups off the first and 10th tees never began.

The event was rescheduled from June due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also kept spectators from attending.

Shibuno, 22, is trying to win her US Women’s Open debut as she did her major debut last year. The “Smiling Cinderella” won 4 times last year on the Japan LPGA Tour.

Olson, seeking her first LPGA title after 147 starts, would be the first player to make the US Women’s Open her first LPGA title since Hilary Lunke in 2003.

Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and South Korea’s Kim2 Ji-yeong were the only other players under par after 54 holes, each on 212.

Moriya, whose only LPGA title came at the 2018 Los Angeles Open, could join her sister Ariya as a US Women’s Open champion, becoming the first siblings to each capture the crown.

Kim2 made the cut on the number and fired a bogey-free 67 on Saturday to charge into contention.

Ariya Jutanugarn, a two-time major winner, joined a pack on level par by opening with a birdie just before play was halted.

Also on level par yet to tee off were New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and Americans Yealimi Noh, Megan Khang and Kaitlyn Papp.

Saso is at joint 32nd place with a 5-over par 217, while fellow Filipina Bianca Pagdanganan missed the cut after the second round. –

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