HOUSTON — Fargo’s Amy Olson has put herself in position to claim her first professional win at one of golf’s most prestigious events.
Seeking her first win since turning pro in 2013, the 28-year-old Olson carded an even par 71 in Saturday’s third round of the 75th U.S. Women’s Open at the Cypress Creek Course of the Champions Golf Club. She sits in second place at 3-under par, only one stroke behind the leader, Hinako Shibuno of Japan.
“It’s all about staying patient,” Olson said about approaching Sunday’s final round. “You can’t win it at a certain hole and you can’t get caught up on what other golfers are doing out there. It felt like a major championship. The golf course has played like a major championship. I always love playing majors.”
Entering Saturday in a tie for third place, Olson dipped to as low as eighth-place after two bogies on the front nine holes. But Olson responded with a birdie on the par 5, No. 9 hole and posted birdies on the par 5 No. 13 and the par 4 No. 17.
Her approach shot on No. 17 nearly went into the hole, reminding Olson of the hole-in-one she posted on the first day of the tournament.
“I actually turned to my caddy and said that was literally the same shot (as my hole-in-one),” Olson said. “It was an 8-iron cut. I was very pleased with the birdie.”
When the third round began Saturday, 19 golfers were under par. Olson ended up being only one of four golfers under par, entering today’s final round that is scheduled to start earlier than planned at 10 a.m. to avoid impending bad weather.
Shibuno, whose only pro win is at the Women’s British Open, carded a 3-over 74 Saturday to end up at 4-under. While Olson trails by only one stroke, Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Ji Yeong Kim of Korea are tied for third place at 1-under par.
Four golfers sit at even par while six golfers are at 1-over par.
“It’s a major championship and it was really a grind out there today,” Olson said. “So I was pleased with how I played today.”
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.