Watch the second round on Friday from 10.30am on Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Mix and the Sky Sports YouTube channel
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 20/08/20 8:46pm
Amy Olson produced a stunning performance in tough scoring conditions to open up a three-shot lead after the opening round of the AIG Women’s Open.
On a day where only three players broke par in strong winds at Royal Troon, Olson burst clear of the field by mixing five birdies with a sole blemish on her way to a four-under 67, moving her three ahead of Germany’s Sophia Popov and America’s Marina Alex.
Olson recovered from an early bogey at the third to chip-in at the par-five next and make a tap-in birdie at the par-five sixth, before edging ahead by picking up a shot at the par-four 12th.
The American struck an impressive tee-shot to four feet at the next to open up a two-shot advantage but missed a birdie attempt from a similar distance at the next, only to extend her lead by making a two-putt birdie at the 16th and closing her round with back-to-back pars.
“The conditions out there honestly were so tough,” Olson said. “I’ve said that was the best ball-striking day of my life, I kept the trajectory on every shot what I wanted.
“My start lines were really good, which was especially important those first nine holes going out into the wind, and my distance control was really good, which can be really tough to judge on a day like this.”
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Popov jumped into tied-second after two birdies in her last three holes go her to one under, with Alex also on that number after bouncing back from a double-bogey at the seventh to birdie the eighth, 12th and rolling from six feet on the penultimate hole.
Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew – the 2009 Women’s Open champion – is in a ten-way tie for fourth spot after birdieing three of her four holes to post a level-par 70, with 2018 winner Georgia Hall recovering from a slow start to open with a two-over 73.
World No 2 Danielle Kang – the highest-ranked player in the field – needed an eagle and two birdies over her last three holes to salvage a five-over 76, with defending champion Hinako Shibuno also in the group nine off the pace.
Dame Laura Davies was given the honour of hitting the opening tee shot to mark her 40th consecutive Women’s Open appearance, with the 56-year-old struggling to a nine-over 80 despite three birdies in her last six holes.
Watch the AIG Women’s Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage continues on Friday from 10.30am on Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Mix and the Sky Sports YouTube channel.