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Miyazato ready to lift Japan

Mika Miyazato has a one-shot lead at the U.S. Open, where a third straight day of rain has organizers hoping to get in the final two rounds today.

Associated Press

Mika Miyazato has a one-shot lead at the U.S. Open, where a third straight day of rain has organizers hoping to get in the final two rounds today.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — For months, Japan has been looking for a lift.

Mika Miyazato could turn the U.S. Women's Open into the feel-good story her disaster-ravaged country seeks and back it with cash.

Miyazato shot 67 to grab the lead at 5-under 137 at the halfway point Saturday at the Broadmoor, where rain once again stopped play early and brought up the prospect of a grueling 36-hole finale today.

She had a one-shot lead over Ai Miyazato, who is not related but is from the same city, Okinawa. When the Miyazatos return to the course, they will play in the final group together, each wearing red and white pins they created to raise awareness for the thousands of victims in a country ravaged by an earthquake, a tsunami and a resulting nuclear catastrophe.

The pins have Japanese characters that translate to "Never Give Up Japan."

Mika also is donating all her winnings from the 2011 majors to the Red Cross for recovery efforts in Japan. She already has earned more than $100,000 in large part because of top-10 finishes at the first two majors. First place at the U.S. Open is worth around $600,000.

"Winning majors is what I strive for," she said. "And to donate all of my earnings from the majors, I hope to give positive things to the people who are around the disaster area."

I.K. Kim, who returned early Saturday with the lead, played the last four holes of her second round, then finished the day two shots behind after her 69, in third place at 3 under.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was at 7-over 149 after 75-74 and made the cut by one shot. Tampa's Cindy Lacrosse missed the cut by two (71-80). Also missing the cut was Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (11 over, 73-80).

Defending champion Paula Creamer was in a six-way tie at even. Four-time major winner Yani Tseng, trying to complete a career Grand Slam, was 4 over.

In an attempt to bring a Sunday conclusion to a tournament that has fallen behind after three straight afternoons of rain, the USGA will send threesomes off from the first and 10th tees today and will not re-pair the groups after the third round.

PGA: Steve Stricker assumed a familiar spot atop the John Deere Classic leaderboard, shooting 8-under 63 to go up by two after three rounds in Silvis, Ill. Stricker, who has won the tournament twice, shot his best round of the year and was at 20-under 193. Brendon de Jonge (63) was in second at 195. Second-round leader Chez Reavie, who started the day two strokes up on Stricker, shot 68 and was 17 under.

champions: Jay Haas shot 7-under 65 and took a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, Calif. Haas was at 11-under 133. Mark Brooks (64), Bobby Clampett (66) and Brad Bryant (68) were at 135. First-round leader Russ Cochran (71) was among five players at 136.

European: The Scottish Open was reduced to three rounds after torrential rain overnight and throughout the day flooded the Castle Stuart links course at Inverness, wiping out the entire third day of play. The leaderboard was unchanged, leaving 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell in a three-way share of the lead at 11-under 133.

Miyazato ready to lift Japan 07/09/11 [Last modified: Monday, July 11, 2011 8:44pm]
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