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U.S. Women's Open: Contender Amy Olson suffers heartbreaking loss on eve of final round

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Amy Olson emerged from the clubhouse on Sunday morning and took a shuttle ride to the opposite end of the range with her caddie, Taneka Sandiford. They spent a little time away from the world on a practice green, quietly preparing alone for the final round of a major, where Olson trails by a single stroke.

Not long after they made it back over to the packed end of the range at Champions Golf Club, good friend Ally Ewing came over to give Olson a warm embrace.

By then news had begun to spread of the Olson family’s heartbreaking loss: Amy’s father-in-law, Lee Olson, died suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday night, the LPGA confirmed to Golfweek on Amy’s behalf. Grant Olson had flown into Houston this weekend to watch his wife’s bid to win the 75th U.S. Women’s Open and was onsite Sunday morning at Champions.

Mother Nature delayed the start of that heavy-hearted bid as play was suspended at 9:10 a.m. local time, 25 minutes before Olson was set to tee off alongside leader Hinako Shibuno and Moriya Jutanugarn. Three and a half hours later, played was suspended for the day.

The LPGA confirmed that Grant went home to to be with his mom and brother.

Grant and Amy Olson (nee Anderson) are two of the most decorated athletes to ever come out of North Dakota State. Grant is now a linebackers coach at their alma mater, and with football season delayed, he originally stayed back this week for hunting season, but came to Texas after Amy played her way into contention.

The couple got married in cowboy boots on a Tuesday in 2017 because it worked out best with their hectic schedules. After a stint at Indiana State, Grant returned to North Dakota State in 2019 and helped the Bison to a 16-0 record and eighth NCAA Division I FCS title in nine years. During Amy’s time at NDSU, she won an NCAA record-tying 20 titles, eclipsing the mark of 17 set by Juli Inkster.

Olson, 28, has yet to win on the LPGA but has contended several times in a major, playing in the final group at both the 2018 ANA Inspiration and 2018 Evian Championship. She ultimately finished ninth at Mission Hills after a tough final round. A closing double-bogey in France later that year dashed Olson’s major hopes again as Angela Stanford took the title.

Grant watched that final round in France unfold from home after a late football game against Eastern Illinois. When it was over, he said something along the lines of “I love you more now than I did yesterday” and that was all she needed to hear.

Earlier this week, Olson was asked if it has been difficult to stay patient on the LPGA after winning so much as an amateur player. Olson, who was a rookie in 2014, said she had certainly expected victory to come early.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned,” she said, “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.”

The Olsons are strong in their faith, and that big-picture perspective is never lost on Amy, who has always felt a deep passion for people.

That deep passion will come back to her now, as the tour family will undoubtedly wrap its arms around a player who has always loved so well.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/13/us-womens-open-amy-olson-father-in-law-death/

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