As top junior athletes from around the globe converged upon Nanjing, China for the second edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, the Gary Player-designed Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club provides the stage for the first ever golf event to be played in the Games.
64 youth Olympians from 32 countries tee-off on the Gary Player Signature Course to compete for their country in a 54-hole stroke play tournament.
Italy’s Renato Paratore overturned a three shot deficit at the start of the day, moving from fifth to first, to win Gold in the Men’s Individual Stroke Play Golf Competition. The young Italian shot 66, meaning he was 11-under-par for his last 36 holes, to beat Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult into second place
Lee Soyoung played a near perfect final round to claim the Gold Medal in the Women’s Individual Stroke Play competition. With no bogies and seven birdies the 17-year-old Korean shot 65 to finish 14-under-par and three ahead of her nearest rival Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-Chia, who won the Silver Medal.
The world’s top junior golfers aged 15 to 18 will take part in the mixed gender team event set to take place from 24 to 26 August.
The addition of golf to the Youth Olympics, as well as its inclusion in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after a 110 year absence, mark exciting steps in global golf development.
“I, like so many others, am looking forward to the return of golf in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but I could not be more thrilled that the future superstars of the game are able to compete for their home countries in golf’s first appearance in the Youth Olympic Games,” said golf icon Gary Player. “I visited our Signature Course at Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club last year, and I have no doubt that it will be a terrific venue. I wish all those competing the best of luck.”
As golf grows across China, hopes are that the sport will continue to gain momentum following these 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics and the Rio 2016 Games. While the long-awaited return of golf draws closer, success in the Nanjing Summer Youth Olympics is sure to pave the way for the sustained inclusion of golf in future games.
The 27-hole Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club, which opened for play in 2005, previously hosted to China’s 10th National Games and several China Tour events including the IGC Open and Sofitel Golf Championship. Other Gary Player Design courses in China hosting professional or high profile amateur events include Suzhou Jinji Lake International Golf Club and Kau Sai Chau.
Gary Player Design www.garyplayer.com
Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf www.njzsgolf.com/english/about/about.asp