HOUSTON — Former North Dakota State golfer Amy Olson carded a hole-in-one Thursday, Dec. 10, during the first round of the U.S. Women's Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston. That shot helped Olson shoot a four-under-par 67 to lead the tournament through 18 holes.
Her first-round 67 was her best 18-hole score at the Open, according to the LPGA. Olson is one stroke ahead of three golfers who are tied for second place with scores of 68.
“The hole-in-one was kind of the highlight of the round. I was pretty excited to be able to do that at the U.S. Open,” Olson said.
Olson's tee shot on No. 16, a 141-yard par 3 after the ball landed on the front part of the green and trickled into the hole. That shot moved her to 1-under-par for the round and helped vault her to the top of the leaderboard.
“I hit a fade to try to hold the wind and it landed two paces short of the flag, had some good spin on it and just trickled in,” said Olson, who was using an 8-iron. “We saw the whole thing which was fun.”
Olson said she's had five total holes-in-one during her golf career, including two as a professional.
The hole-in-one was the 28th in the history of the U.S. Women's Open, according to the United States Golf Association. Later in the day on No. 4, Yu Jin Sung also had a hole-in-one, the 29th ace in the event's history. There has been at least one hole-in-one during the U.S. Women's Open since 2014.
“I definitely allowed myself to celebrate there and enjoy the moment," Olson said. “I think it is important to enjoy the little things and the moments along the way and not kind of get ahead of yourself so I just enjoyed the moment.”
There were three holes-in-one carded during the 1998 U.S. Women's Open at Blackwolf Run Golf Course in Kohler, Wis. In 1983, there were three holes-in-one at the Open at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
The tournament has a $5.5 million purse. The U.S. Women's Open is one of the five major tournaments on the LPGA Tour. Olson is currently No. 32 on the LPGA money with $276,546. Olson, from Oxbow, N.D., just south of Fargo, has yet to win on tour. The 28-year-old turned pro in 2014 and has more than $1.6 million career earnings. She has 11 top-10 finishes during her pro career.
“It’s not easy to win out here. You have to put four really good days together," Olson said. “It has been a test of my patience.”
Olson started on the back nine on the Cypress Creek Golf Course on Thursday and was 1-over par through six holes. The hole-in-one moved her to 1-under par for the round, helping her shoot 2-under through the first nine holes. She finished off her opening round by shooting 2-under with two birdies on the front nine for a 4-under total.
For the round, she had three birdies and one bogey to go along with the ace.
“I hit the ball really well off the tee," Olson said. "It ended up, I gave myself some good chances for birdie, but I really made some putts that I definitely wasn’t necessarily thinking birdie on and that helped."
Olson qualified for her first U.S. Women's Open in 2011 when she was a sophomore at NDSU.
The Fargo-Moorhead's other touring professional, Tom Hoge, a Fargo South graduate, made his first hole-in-one on the PGA Tour, during the 2017 Barracuda Championship.
.@AmyOlsonGolf closes w/ a 67, her best 18-hole score at the @uswomensopen, to take the R1 clubhouse lead.— LPGA Media (@LPGAMedia) December 10, 2020
In three previous starts, Olson's best USWO finish is T52 from 2016. She last held a R1 lead/co-lead at the 2020 @AIGWomensOpen.
:@USGA / Jeff Haynes pic.twitter.com/AtIQIAK20l