PLAINFIELD, N.J., JULY 24 -- Former champions Amy Alcott and JoAnne Carner rolled in birdie putts minutes before play was suspended by darkness today to gain a share of the lead with British Women's Open champion Laura Davies in the 42nd U.S. Women's Open golf tournament.

There were still 27 players on the Plainfield Country Club course when U.S. Golf Association officials called play at 8:25 p.m. Earlier, play had been suspended for 1 hour 47 minutes by lightning and heavy rain.

Alcott, who won the Open in 1980, had birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to go to 2-under-par 142. Carner, a Hall of Famer with two Open victories, birdied the 16th.

Davies, 23, the British Women's Open champion, moved into a share of the lead by putting well. She one-putted eight straight greens and carded five birdies en route to a 2-under 70.

"It was one of the best putting days I've ever had as a professional," said Davies, a three-year pro who was the leading money winner on the women's European tour in both 1985 and 1986.

Vicki Goetze, a 14-year-old amateur from Athens, Ga., shot a 4-over-par 76 in the second round. Goetze had shot 83 in the opening round, thereby missing the cut with her 159.

Goetze had birdies on the second and 17th holes, and bogeyed six holes. She missed a three-foot putt for a bogey on the 18th, at the same time a thunderstorm struck the course and suspended play.

Golfer Lauren Howe collapsed at the 13th hole from apparent heat exhaustion and has been hospitalized, tournament officials said. Howe, 28, was taken by ambulance to Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield for observation.

Buick Open:

Robert Wrenn of Midlothian, Va., sank nine birdies today in firing a tournament record-tying 9-under-par 63, taking a four-stroke lead in the $600,000 Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich.