In this 2018 LPGA year of major surprises and breakthroughs, Amy Olson’s story would fit nicely.
She doesn’t have a win in nearly five LPGA seasons, but she’s a noteworthy 89th in the Rolex Rankings. She’s made 57 percent of her cuts in 101 career starts entering this week. She’s 55th in the LPGA’s season-long Race to the CME Globe points race. A decorated collegiate player, Olson is enjoying her best season, reaping the fruits of her labor and commitment to a consistent approach with a longer-range goal in mind.
Why not cap it off with a major?
Olson has that chance on Sunday in France at The Evian Championship, where she sits on 14-under 200 and leads Sei Young Kim, who has seven LPGA wins, the LPGA’s 72-hole scoring record and no majors to her name. Olson is four clear of Mo Martin, whose lone LPGA win is a major, in the Women’s British Open following one of the greatest 72nd-hole approaches you’ll ever see.
Were Olson to win, she’d join 2018 first-time major winners Pernilla Lindberg and Georgia Hall in completing a second-consecutive topsy-turvy major campaign in the women’s game. And yet, it doesn’t sound like Olson would be all that changed by putting “major winner” in front of her name for the rest of her career.
“I’m very content with my life and where I am,” said Olson, who married former North Dakota State football standout Grant Olson last June. “Obviously winning adds greatly to it, but not as much as most people would think.”
For the former Bison who once went by the last name Anderson, the money would be great — The Evian features the second-biggest tournament purse behind the US Women’s Open — and the notoriety is a different kind of currency. However, Olson, who supports Betsy King’s Golf Fore Africa charity (along with Martin), has more in her life than whatever happens on Sunday.
That’s not to say she doesn’t care. Don’t mistake Olson’s placid nature for indifference to the result. In fact, Olson seems to thrive in majors. The two final-round final tee times this year aside, she’s finished T-18 at the Women’s PGA Championship and T-28 at the Women’s British Open. This is her brand of golf, better suited to her than the kind of 31-under trouncing Sei Young Kim won with in Wisconsin in July, resetting the LPGA’s 72-hole scoring record.
“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.”
Unlike how she felt on Saturday, Olson knows she’ll be nervous on Sunday. Even though she’s not a leaderboard watcher, playing with the lead in the final group of the final round of a major carries a pretty serious insinuation of her place in the tournament. But she plans on sticking to her see-no-evil approach on Sunday, then seeing where that leaves her when she holes her last putt on the 72nd hole.
After a five-year professional journey to here, she’s comfortable relying on what’s she told herself to get here.
“Honestly, just staying patient and recognizing that if my moment is going to come it’ll come,” she said. “If it doesn’t, I’ll be okay.”