Leader Smith's caddie careful not to push the wrong buttons

US Women's Open: Ariya Jutanugarn leads by four shots after three rounds

US Women's Open: Ariya Jutanugarn leads by four shots after three rounds

Australia's Sarah Jane Smith has added a second consecutive round of 67 at the US Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Birmingham in Alabama and takes a four shot lead into day three although several of the 78 players still on the golf course when play was finally stopped for the day as a result of unsafe weather could impact that lead.

Smith carded her second straight five-under round for a 10-under total of 134 at Shoal Creek, where thunderstorms led to extensive delays on a course that had been soaked earlier in the week.

Heading into a two-hole aggregate play-off, Kim birdied the 14th as Jutanugarn made par. She was at 12-under-par 204 for the tournament. Jutanugarn, already a nine-time victor on the LPGA Tour and the 2016 British Open champion, appeared under no pressure whatsoever when beginning her final nine holes.

The top two finished four shots clear of Solheim Cup star Carlota Ciganda, whose five-birdie 69 ensured her best finish in a major, and there was another four-shot gap to last year's KPMG Women's PGA champion Danielle Kang. The advice proved paramount when May's clubs didn't arrive in time for a Monday practice round, and she began the championship having laid eyes on only nine holes of Shoal Creek. Kim In-kyung trails them at No. 7.

It was the second of two weather disruptions throughout day two the field to return at 6.45am on Saturday local time to complete their rounds.

"(Foley told me to) keep showing up, it's going to turn around.

South Korean-born Su-Hyun Oh, who moved to Australia at the age of eight, shot a 68 and is third.

"I started off quite a few strokes behind the leader, so I didn't really think that I was going to come through", Kim said.

Garber, who played golf at Georgia, started the final round at the TPC Wakefield three shots behind Michael Johnson, who ran into trouble on the front nine and closed out that side with a double bogey.

Faxon said that Ariya, at her best, evoked comparisons with a young Tiger Woods, and with nine LPGA victories, including two majors, the 22-year-old seems capable of dominating the women's tour. Jutanugarn said she had a 4 a.m. wakeup call and played 28 holes in sweltering heat and humidity. She missed several good chances to pick up shots, which appeared to take the wind from her sails, before surrendering the lead with consecutive bogeys at the eighth and ninth holes. Both found bunkers with their second shots - Kim short of the green and Jutanugarn just to the right - and the South Korean finally blinked.

"I never had that final putt to win". Careless and very costly, and memories of the 2016 ANA Inspiration, where she bogeyed the last three holes to lose, came back to her.

Paul Azinger, the 1993 PGA Championship victor, said Ariya's confidence would have taken a real blow had she not found a way past Kim Hyo-joo in the playoff.

"I have to give myself more opportunities at birdie because I feel quite good about the putter", Park said.

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