Nanjing, China: Lee So-young and Youm Eun-ho shot a spectacular opening 11-under-par in the Mixed Team event at the 2014 Youth Olympics to take a one-shot lead over Italy.
The first round was played in the fourball better-ball format and the Koreans fed off each other to produce the round of the day at Zhongshan International Golf Club. Lee, the gold medallist in the Women’s Individual, made eight birdies while Youm made seven.
“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.”
Youm added: “We will just try to have fun tomorrow. 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 a 62 to finish day one on 10-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. She said: “It was really fun out there playing together. We both played good. He played amazing, I played okay. 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.
The Norwegian and German teams both matched the Australians on nine-under-par. Sweden, South Africa and Denmark are two further back at seven-under.
Play was suspended for an hour and 15 minutes with a heavy thunder and lightning storm passing straight over the golf venue.