High winds led to an early halt to play in the third round of the Women's British Open on Saturday with organisers not ruling out the possibility of a Monday finish.

With gusts of up to 56mph sweeping the Old Course the players were taken off at 12:30 (1130GMT) and play was finally called off for the day at 18:00 (1700GMT).

The championship will resume at 6.15am (0715GMT) on Sunday and the remainder of the third round and the fourth rounds will be on the same day.

It's the second year in a row that the Women's Open has been jinxed by bad weather. Last year at Hoylake in England the whole of Friday's play was wiped out by wind.

The organisers still managed to get the championship completed by the Sunday evening - but only just.

Thirty-six holes were packed into the final day that was blighted by torrential rain and wind.

South Korea's Choi Na Yeon, one ahead of the field overnight on 10 under par, will now have to play 36 holes in one day.

Tough conditions

Eleven players managed to finish their third rounds before the wind reached its peak and American Cristie Kerr and New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko posted the best scores of 75. They are both on four over par.

Twenty-six groups started and the only player who managed to keep a bogey off her card was the history-chasing Park Inbee.

The South Korean is aiming to become the first golfer to win four majors in one calendar year and she began the final round eight shots behind Choi.

She squeezed in four holes before the suspension and picked up a birdie at the third to move to three under par.

Susan Simpson, the championship's head of golf operations, confirmed that play could go into Monday.

"The forecast is better for tomorrow, but there is not going to be much let up in the wind so a Monday finish is definitely an option," she said.

"But this is a major championship so every endeavour will be made to complete the 72 holes. Today, we had gusts over 50mph and as soon as the balls were moving on the greens we had to suspend play. There was also some damage to infrastructure.

"We did consider abandoning the whole days' scores. But five groups had completed so we felt it was fairer to let them stand and suspend play overnight."

Source: AFP