Ol­son takes two-shot lead at Evian

Times Colonist - - Sports -

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Chas­ing a first ma­jor ti­tle for her­self, and a first for Amer­i­can women this season, Amy Ol­son fired a bo­geyfree 65 to take a two-shot lead af­ter the Evian Cham­pi­onship third round on Satur­day.

Ol­son broke clear to post a 14un­der 199 to­tal af­ter twice be­ing in a four-way share of the lead at the sun-soaked Evian Re­sort Golf Club.

An ea­gle at the par-5 9th first took her clear, and she added three birdies on the back nine to stretch her lead over Sei Young Kim.

“I re­ally en­joyed [the nerves], that means I care, right?” Ol­son said. “It was fun to start solid with a birdie on the first hole.”

Canada’s Brooke Hen­der­son fell out of con­tention af­ter start­ing the day two shots off the lead. The 21-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ont., shot a 1-over 72 and is 5 un­der for the tour­na­ment. Hen­der­son is nine shots off the lead and tied for 16th.

Alena Sharp of Hamil­ton is tied for 39th at even par and Brit­tany Marc­hand of Orangeville, Ont., is tied for 62nd at 6 over.

Kim carded 64, flash­ing the form that set a U.S. LPGA Tour record 31-un­der win­ning to­tal at the Thorn­berry Creek Clas­sic in July.

“The big goal is to win a ma­jor tour­na­ment. I wish I could,” said Kim, a seven-time win­ner on tour.

Mo Martin, a for­mer Women’s Bri­tish Open win­ner, was two shots back at 10 un­der.

A fur­ther shot back was a group of three play­ers in­clud­ing Ge­or­gia Hall (68), who was a home­grown Bri­tish Open win­ner last month.

Five Amer­i­cans are in the top 10, seek­ing a first ma­jor at the fifth and fi­nal try this season and a win­ner’s check of $577,500. The year’s ma­jor win­ners have come from Swe­den, Thai­land, South Korea, and Eng­land.

Ol­son aims to learn from her pre­vi­ous ma­jors ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing in the last group to­day. In April, a 72 turned sec­ond place into tied for ninth at the ANA In­spi­ra­tion.

Still, she said she learned then from watch­ing play­ing part­ner Pernilla Lind­berg win a three-way play­off af­ter let­ting slip a three­shot lead.

Ol­son is also flour­ish­ing with her brother, Nathan An­der­son, on the bag as cad­die.

“Most of my golf mem­o­ries do in­volve him,” she said. “Hav­ing a sib­ling be part of it is very spe­cial.”

The Amer­i­can chal­lenge at Evian in­cludes Ryann O’Toole, who made the big­gest move on Satur­day to be 8 un­der, tied for sev­enth. Her 63 was the low­est round this week.

Tight pin po­si­tions off­set oth­er­wise per­fect play­ing con­di­tions on a still, 24-de­gree (75 F) day on the hill­side course over­look­ing Lake Geneva.

While her South Carolina home­town Seneca is at risk of flood­ing from Hur­ri­cane Florence, Austin Ernst (69) joined the four-player group at 8 un­der with an ea­gle on the par-5 15th.

“Pray­ing for my friends & fam­ily back home in SC/NC in hur­ri­cane Florence’s path. Y’all be safe!!” Ernst has tweeted from south­east­ern France.

Puerto Rico’s first LPGA Tour player, Maria Tor­res, tied for the lead af­ter each of the first two rounds and briefly shared the lead on Satur­day. Tor­res dropped shots at the two clos­ing par-4s and a 72 left her tied for 11th, seven shots back.

The 16-year-old Rachel Heck carded a 72 to be 2 over in her sec­ond ma­jor. The high-schooler pre­vi­ously tied for 33rd at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.

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