Lee Soyoung and Youm Eun Ho shot a spectacular 11-under-par in the Mixed Team event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics today to take a one shot lead over Italy.
The first round was played in the fourball better-ball format and the Korean’s fed off each other to produce the round of the day at Zhongshan International Golf Club. Lee, the gold medalist in the Women’s Individual, made eight birdies while Youm made seven as they combined for an opening 61.
“We’re both really happy, we made a lot of birdies early on and that helped us settle down and the birdies kept coming,” said, Lee.
“We know each other really well and so there is a lot of trust. We feel comfortable playing together.”
“We will just try to have fun tomorrow,” said Youm. “We don’t have any experience of playing foursomes golf [alternate shot format] and we won’t be thinking about making birdies, just having fun and seeing what happens.”
Italy’s Virginia Elena Carta and Renato Paratore shot an opening round 62 to finish day one on ten-under-par. The Italian pair made 11 birdies, seven on the back nine, including a holed pitch from five yards short of the 18th green from Paratore, last week’s Men’s Individual Gold Medal winner.
Carta was quick to praise her partner. “It was really fun out there playing together. We both played good. He played amazing, I played ok,” she said.
“Every time I put it close to the hole, he would hole out from everywhere. So I would say ‘thank you’ and onto the next hole. We worked really well as a team.”
Renato said the pair would like to add another medal for Italy after his individual medal.
“For me winning gold is a really good feeling. If we can win together and I can win two, well, that would be really nice”.
Australia’s Elizabeth Elmassian and Brett Coletta carded a 63 to finish just two behind the Koreans and one shot behind Carta and Paratore. It could have been better for the Aussie pair but they couldn’t capitalise on the par-5 ninth (their 18th hole) to draw level with the Italians, making par when at least a birdie was their aim. Despite that minor blip, they were happy to post a strong opening round.
“It was a lot of fun playing out there with Brett today. It was a bit daunting because we don’t want to let each other down but apart from that we had a very good time with each other,” said Elmassian.
Both players know they will need to adapt to each other’s games with the Foursomes coming tomorrow and have made some preparations.
“It’s the first time we have played together,” said Coletta. “We practised nine holes yesterday, it was too hot to play 18. We both hit off the tee, I hit Liz’s ball and she hit mine, and we just went vice versa and kept going.”
The Norwegian and German teams both matched the Australians on nine-under-par. Sweden, South Africa and Denmark all finished two further back at seven-under-par.
Play was suspended for an hour and 15 minutes with a heavy thunder and lightning storm passing straight over the golf venue.
For the full leaderboard in the Youth Olympic Games Mixed Team Competition please visit: