You may remember Maria Verchenova as Maria Balikoeva (married name), a Russian golfer who appeared in the June 2014 issue of Golf Digest and who has been featured in just about every "hottest golfers" compilation over the past few years. Or perhaps, you've come to recognize her this week as that golfer who wears very stylish hats. But now, she'll be best known as the golfer with the lowest score in Olympic history.
In Saturday's final round of the Olympic Women's Golf Competition, Verchenova shot 62, bettering the mark established by Marcus Fraser an Matt Kuchar in the men's competition and equaled by Stacy Lewis on Friday. Making Verchenova's magical round even more incredible is the fact that it included a hole-in-one on the Rio Olympic Course's fourth hole.
Verchenova is a two-time Russian amateur champ and was the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour. She is currently ranked No. 348 in the Rolex Ranking, but that should change after this:
As you can see from that photo, Verchenova's round came out of nowhere after the first three rounds in which she failed to break 70. As a result, she won't finish anywhere near medal contention (she had moved into a tie for 15th by the conclusion of her round), but still, what a day for her and Russian golf. Just a hunch, but it won't hurt when it comes to potential sponsors, either.