Nanjing, China, August 19: Australia’s Brett Coletta shared the first round lead with Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult on six-under-par after the first round of the Youth Olympics Men’s Individual Stroke Play Competition at Zhongshan International Golf Club in China today.
Coletta posted a bogey free round of 66 with birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, seventh, 11th and 15th holes. Coletta, who plays out of Sandhurst Golf club in Melbourne, said, “I came out this morning and I knew it was a strong field. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest but I came out strong. But, you know, there are two days to go.
“I was a bit nervous on the first tee. Just saying the Olympic word and that it is 100 years since golf’s been in, you’ve hit the nail on the head, yes, I’m very proud to play an Olympic competition.”
Kinhult finished with three birdies in his last four holes to secure his 66. His only bogey came on the 17th but he holed from 20 feet on the last for his seventh birdie of the day to finish on six-under-par and take a share of the lead.
“It was good today, I was playing well and my ball-striking was good from tee to green,” said Kinhult, who was part of the Swedish team which finished second in the European Boys’ Team Championship in Oslo last month.
“Of course I want to win a medal. I want to win the competition but if I could get a medal I would be very happy.”
The highlight of the day came from Tony Gil who made a 164 yard hole-in-one on the third hole. The young Canadian made the first hole-in-one in Olympic history on his way to a three-under-par 69.
“It was a bit humid today so I used a 7-iron. I knew I’d hit it close but didn’t know it was in until I went to the green and saw the ball in the hole.”
It was only after the round that Gil realised he had made a little bit of history with the first hole-in-one in an Olympic competition.
“Oh really? That’s very cool. It was actually the first hole-in-one in my career too!” he said.
Youth Olympics Men’s Individual Stroke Play Competition, Round One, Top 10
For the full leaderboard in the Youth Olympic Games Men’s Individual Stroke Play Competition please visit:
FOUR-WAY TIE IN WOMEN’S GOLF COMPETITION AT YOG
Nanjing, China, August 19: Virginia Elena Carta shot a three-under-par 69 to finish in a four-way tie at the top of the leader board in the Women’s Competition in the Youth Olympic Games at Zhongshan International Golf Club today.
The young Italian made three birdies and no bogies to produce a faultless scorecard but admitted it could have been much better. “I played a really good long game and hit 16 greens in regulation,” she said. “Pretty much every time it was inside four metres but I didn’t hole many putts.”
Carta said she was delighted to be playing golf in the Olympics. “It feels really good. It has forever been our dream to have golf in the Olympic games. It’s really special being part of an Italian team. We’ve won a few medals already and it’s been really cool hanging out with other Italian athletes.”
Carta was joined on three-under-par by three young athletes from Asia, Korean Lee Soyoung, Cheng Ssu-Chia from Chinese Taipei and Japan’s Maria Shinohara.
Lee, ranked 50th on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, said she was really pleased with her long game but was disappointed with her performance on the greens. She bogied the ninth hole, her last, leaving here feeling a little frustrated but enjoying her experience of the Youth Olympics none the less.
“I could have made more birdies. Actually I didn’t even know I am leading. I’m satisfied to be among the leaders but not with my score. I left a lot of putts short.
“Usually the tournaments I play are golf only, so I can make friends with other golfers but this is the Youth Olympic Games. It is really good to make friends with people from other countries and athletes from other sports.”
Shinohara started her day with a birdie on the 10th hole and made the turn in 35, one-under-par, having added two more birdies but offsetting them with a pair of bogies. She finished strongly birdieing three holes in her last five and coming in with two pars to card her 69.
“I would like to repeat the same thing as the first round, so I can give myself a good chance of a medal.”
Asked about playing in the Youth Olympic Games for the first time she said, “It’s so much fun, seeing so many people from other countries and I can interact with many other athletes from all over the world.”
Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-Chia played a faultless front nine, having started on the 10th hole. She had three birdies and no bogies to reach the turn at three-under-par. She couldn’t capitalise on her strong start though and having added another birdie at the first to get to four-under-par she recorded two bogey sixes on her back nine before finishing with a birdie to join the four way tie for the lead at three-under-par. Cheng will tee off on the first hole in the final group tomorrow at 10am.
Youth Olympics Women’s Individual Stroke Play Competition, Round One, Top 10
|1||Carta, Virginia Elena||ITA||69||-3|
|7||Merchan, Maria Andreina||VEN||71||-1|
|10||Fassi Alvarez, Maria Jose||MEX||72||PAR|
For the full leaderboard in the Youth Olympic Games Women’s Individual Stroke Play Competition please visit: