Smith Leads Heading Into Round 3, as Jutanugarn Lurks June 2, 2018 | Shoal Creek, Ala. By Ron Driscoll, USGA

Ariya Jutanugarn had three early birdies on Saturday morning to get her day off to a hot start. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

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Sara Jane Smith held a three-stroke lead over Ariya Jutanugarn as the rain-delayed Round 2 of the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship was completed on Saturday morning at Shoal Creek. Half the field of 156 players were forced to halt play on Friday evening after more than 5 hours of weather delays dogged Round 2 of the championship.

Jutanugarn, who completed her final eight holes of Round 2 on Saturday morning, got to 8 under par – two strokes behind Smith’s leading 10-under total – but made a bogey on the par-4 14th hole and parred in for a 2-under 70 and a 7-under total of 137.

Smith, 33, of Australia, had carded her second consecutive 67 on Friday morning to match the 36-hole record of 10 under par by four players in championship history, most recently Juli Inkster and Lorie Kane in 1999 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss. Smith is seeking her third victory as a professional, but both previous wins were on the Symetra Tour and she is winless in 10-plus seasons on the LPGA Tour.

Smith, Jutanugarn and Su-Hyun Oh, of Australia, who completed a 4-under 68 on Friday and is alone in third place through two rounds at 6-under 138, start play at 2:35 p.m. CDT. Eight players, including two-time champion Inbee Park, 2014 champion Michelle Wie and  mateur Linn Grant, of Sweden, are tied for fourth place after 36 holes at 3-under 141.

Ron Driscoll is the senior manager of editorial services for the USGA. Email him at rdriscoll@usga.org.

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