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Former Bison Amy Olson on 18th hole collapse at major: I 'did everything I could'

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Amy Olson. USA TODAY file photo2 / 2

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Amy Olson made double bogey on the 18th hole, allowing Angela Stanford to capture The Evian Championship on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Olson, the former North Dakota State standout, was poised to win her first LPGA tournament and major title. The Oxbow, N.D., native three-putted the 18th hole after pulling her tee shot on final hole when she owned a one-shot lead.

Playing a group ahead, Stanford had a chance to join Olson outright at 13-under on the 18th hole after a midrange birdie putt slid just above the hole.

That left the tournament in Olson's hands.

But Olson pulled her tee shot on the difficult par-4 18th into the left rough and her recovery shot didn't get back to the fairway. Her third shot from the deep rough reached the green but left plenty of distance from the hole. Olson's first putt went long of the hole and her 6-foot bogey putt to force a playoff with Stanford was short and left.

"It's disappointing to finish like that," the 26-year-old Olson said after a round consisting of two birdies, three bogeys and the double-bogey. "I committed to every shot and did everything I could."

Stanford was signing autographs on Sunday as leader Olson reached the green at 18. She was able to celebrate in full after Olson's miscue, giving her her first major title in her 436th start and 76th major of her LGPA career.

"Lot of relief," the 40-year-old Stanford said after her sixth career victory earned her $577,500. "Sometimes you just never know if it is going to happen or not. You play by faith and hope and hope it works out for you and it finally did."

Stanford finished at 12-under-par 272 after carding a 3-under 68 in the final round. Olson (final-round 74), Austin Ernst (68) and Mo Martin (70) and South Korea's Sei Young Kim (72) all were one shot back.

Olson led by three strokes with five holes to play and still was in position to win when she walked toward the green on 18.

Stanford made a move late, with an eagle on No. 15, only to give it back with a double bogey on 16 before a birdie on the par-4 17th.

"I'm proud I didn't give up because 16 was a disaster," Stanford said. "That's me. I've never given up. It was nice that it ended well this time."

Stanford was the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open in 2003 but a breakthrough win remained elusive.

"I don't really know yet but the beginning is pretty good," Stanford said when asked how it felt to have won a major.

Ernst made three birdies during a bogey-free round, Martin had three birdies and two bogeys and Kim carded three birdies, two bogeys and one double-bogey.

American Ryann O'Toole (69) and South Korea's Jeongeun Lee (69) tied for sixth, two shots behind Stanford. American Jessica Korda (68) and South Korea's Inbee Park (71) were another shot back.