Amy Olson Takes Evian Lead in Bid for Her First Major Title

ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Chasing a first major title for herself, and a first for American women this season, Amy Olson fired a bogey-free 65 at the Evian Championship on Saturday to take a two-shot lead heading into the final round.

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

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

Olson said she felt jitters — but enjoyed them.

“That means I care, right?” Olson said. “It was fun to start solid with a birdie on the first hole.”

Kim carded a seven-under 64, flashing the form that set an L.P.G.A. Tour record with a 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, who finished the third round two shots behind Olson.

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

Three players, including Georgia Hall (68), the winner of last month’s British Open, were tied for fourth, five shots back.

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 majors experience playing in the last group on Sunday. In April, a 72 turned second place into a tie for ninth at the ANA Inspiration.

Still, she said she had learned from watching her playing partner, Pernilla Lindberg, win a three-way playoff after letting a three-shot lead slip away.

Olson is also flourishing with her brother, Nathan Anderson, on the bag as her 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 leap on Saturday to move to eight under, tied for seventh. Her 63 was the lowest round of the tournament.

Tight pin positions offset otherwise perfect playing conditions on a mild, still day on the hillside course overlooking Lake Geneva.

Austin Ernst, whose South Carolina hometown, Seneca, was at risk of flooding from Tropical Storm Florence, shot a 69 and joined a group at eight under with an eagle on the par-5 15th.

“Praying for my friends & family back home in SC/NC in hurricane Florence’s path,” Ernst wrote on Twitter last week. “Y’all be safe!!

Puerto Rico’s first L.P.G.A. 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.

Rachel Heck, a 16-year-old high school student, carded a 72 to be two over in her second major. She tied for 33rd at the 2017 United States Women’s Open.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page SP9 of the New York edition with the headline: American Catapults Into Lead In Bid for Her First Major Title. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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