For the second time this year, Amy Olson finds herself in the final group on Sunday at a major. The accountant from Small Town, USA, has looked positively unfazed by pressure thus far at the Evian Championship. In a year when two players have already broken through for their first LPGA victory at a major, Olson looks poised to become the third. She holds a two-stroke lead over Sei Young Kim, who happens to be the winningest tour player (seven) without a major.
Olson’s second consecutive 65 included an eagle on the par-5 ninth. A prolific winner in both college and junior golf, Olson has long known she has a game for majors. She feeds off of tough tracks that reward good shots. Olson’s major finishes in 2018: ANA T-9, KPMG T-18, British Open, T-28. She did not qualify for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open.
“I think the biggest thing that I like about major championships is how it forces you to bring your best game,” said Olson. “You can’t really fake it. You can’t get away with poor shots.”
Rounding out the final threesome is 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open winner Mo Martin, who trails by four. Both Martin and Olson are big supporters of Betsy King’s Golf Fore Africa charity, having raised funds to build water wells in remote African villages. The pair chatted throughout the third round.
“She’s just been one of those people that’s been consistent day in and day out,” said Martin of Olson. “Which is really hard to do when we’ve got this amount of pressure and this many moving variables every day, from countries to different cities, different food.”
There’s a trio of players in a share of fourth who could strike early on Sunday. Chief among them is seven-time major winner Inbee Park (67). The most recent major winner, England’s Hall, is riding a mountain of confidence and likes her position. Texan Angela Stanford briefly held a share of the lead on Saturday. The 40-year-old has been in this position before at Evian.
“I think, again, it’s really easy for the wheels to come off here,” said Stanford. “You really have to pay attention. You have to get it in the right spot on every hole.”
Olson, like Martin, is an impressively grounded individual. The sort of player who has always come across as mature beyond her years. Olson has yet to hit a shot on Sunday but feels confident in the fact that no matter what happens, she’ll be OK.
“I’m very content with my life and where I am,” said Olson, a newlywed. “Obviously winning adds greatly to it, but not as much as most people would think.”
When asked to compare her game this week to what she had at the ANA, Olson said she drove the ball better in the desert but is putting better in France.
And what did she learn, playing alongside eventual champion Pernilla Lindberg in that final round?
“Watching Pernilla, I think she bogeyed the first hole and she stayed in it,” said Olson. “She stayed patient and some birdie putts fell, but she didn’t try to force anything and didn’t beat herself up over a lost shot.
“Watching that really inspired me. I think at some point you’re going to face adversity out there, and how you respond is the most important thing.”