Nanjing, China: Helped by a hole-in-one, Denmark carded a seven-under-par 65 to take a two-shot lead over Korea after the second round of the Mixed Team event at the 2014 Youth Olympics.
John Paul Pultz Pinnerup Axelsen holed his tee shot with an eight-iron at the 163-yard third hole to help his team move to the top of the leaderboard on 14-under-par after today’s foursomes round at Zhongshan International Golf Club.
It is the second hole-in-one in the Youth Olympics after Canada’s Tony Gil scored an ace at the same hole six days earlier.
“It was amazing! I couldn’t have hit it better,” said 16-year-old Axelsen. “It had three metres of draw, landed two inches before the hole and fell in. It was just perfect.”
Axelsen and his team mate Emily Kristine Pedersen got off to a great start, with two birdies and a hole-in-one in the first three holes, and went out in 29 before consolidating their round with a level-par inward half.
“It’s good we understand, respect and support each other,” said 18-year-old Pedersen. “We can joke when we are not hitting and we can be serious.”
Despite their lead, the young Danes, who both enjoyed top-10 finishes in last week’s individual events, are cautious about their prospects in the final individual round tomorrow. “Anything can happen if one of us plays badly,” said Pedersen.
First round leaders Korea shot a one-under 71, to tie for second place with Sweden at 12-under-par. Lee So-young and Youm Eun-ho birdied the seventh and the 16th holes but dropped a shot at the fourth hole.
“We tried really hard not to think about the scores and the leaderboard,” said Youm. “We just enjoyed ourselves. It was a little bit difficult but we really enjoyed the round.”
Lee, who won the Gold Medal in the Women’s Individual Stroke Play last week, said this is the first time the two of them have played in the foursomes format. “We trust each other because even if I make a mistake I know he can save it. That’s the way we enjoy the game.”
“We will try to have more fun tomorrow and try to enjoy playing with each other. It’s going to be interesting.”
Sweden made seven birdies but dropped two shots in their five-under round of 67. “We played pretty good today, although we had two bogeys,” said Marcus Kinhult. “We will try to build on this tomorrow and see what happens.”
Chinese Taipei and Australia are three strokes off the lead on 11-under.
“We co-operated well today,” said Yu Chun-an from Chinese Taipei. “We gave each other back-up which gave us a lot of opportunities. She (Cheng Ssu-chia) drives more accurately than me but I was hitting the approaches to the green well today.”