HOUSTON — Entering Friday’s second round of the 75th U.S. Women’s Open as the leader, Fargo’s Amy Olson dipped into a tie for third place after carding a 1-over par 72 at the Jackrabbit Course of the Champions Golf Club.
Seeking her first win since turning pro in 2013, the 28-year-old Olson trails the leader, Hinako Shibuno of Japan, by four strokes. The tournament continues Saturday and Sunday.
Olson started Friday with a birdie on her first hole to remain in first place at 5-under. But Olson carded back-to-back bogies on holes 2 and 3 and finished the front nine with a 1-over 37 and tied for second place at 3-under.
On the back nine, Olson birdied the par 4 No. 13 hole to go to 4-under, tied for second and two strokes behind the leader. But a double-bogey on the par 4, No. 15 hole put Olson at 2-under and in a tie for eighth place.
Olson finished Friday’s round with a birdie on the par 4, No. 18 — giving her a two-day total of 3-under and four strokes behind the leader.
Shibuno, who won the 2019 Women’s British Open, carded a 4-under 67 Friday to take the lead at 7-under. She is followed by Linn Grant, an amateur from Sweden, who sits at 4-under.
Kaitlyn Papp, an amateur from the United States, and Meghan Khang of the U.S. are tied for third place with Olson at 3-under.
Olson entered Friday as the first-round leader, after a hole-in-one during Thursday’s first round helped her card a 4-under par 67 at the Cypress Creek Course. It marks the first time the USGA has used a two-course setup in U.S. Women’s Open history.
Olson, an All-American golfer at North Dakota State, aced the 139-yard, par 3 No. 16 hole on Thursday. It marked the 28th hole-in-one in U.S. Women’s Open history. Later in the day, Yu Jin Sung of South Korea carded the 29th hole-in-one in Open history acing the par 3, 169-yard No. 4 hole.
Olson had a highly decorated junior and amateur career that included winning the 2009 U.S. Girls’ Junior, amassing a record 20 collegiate titles at NDSU and representing the USA in the 2012 Curtis Cup Match. Since joining the pro ranks, she surprisingly hasn’t cracked the winner’s circle. There have been plenty of chances, however.
She was in the final group on Sunday at the ANA Inspiration in 2018 before finishing tied for ninth. Later that summer, she was in position to win The Evian Championship, but a double bogey on the 72nd hole allowed Angela Stanford to sneak past her and win her first major.
Earlier this year, she was the runner-up in the ISPS Handa Australian Open. As an amateur in the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, Olson briefly held the first-round lead with a 69 only to fade on the weekend and finish 63rd.
This is Olson’s fourth U.S. Open appearance, with her best finish in 52nd place.
“Coming out here I expected to win really early,” said Olson. “It always kind of came easy to me in college. I won the U.S. (Girls’) Junior just my second time playing the event. It's not easy to win out here. The biggest thing I've learned is just perspective and what do I consider success, and at the end of my life it's not going to be a number of tournaments that I've won, it's how I live my life, so trying to maintain that perspective, I think, is really important for me.”