A level par 72 in the fourballs left The Island's Kevin LeBlanc and Royal County Down Ladies' Olivia Mehaffey 11 strokes off the pace in the Mixed team event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics.
Lee Soyoung and Youm Eun Ho shot a spectacular 11-under-par 61 to to take a one shot lead over Italy as Ireland ended the day tied for 25 ahead of the foursomes and the two individual singles.
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.
Youth Olympic Games, Mixed Team
Round one - Fourball
1 Korea 61 61 -11 YOUM Eun Ho LEE Soyoung
2 Italy 62 62 -10 PARATORE Renato CARTA Virginia Elena
3 Australia 63 63 -9 COLETTA Brett ELMASSIAN Elizabeth
3 Germany 63 63 -9 LIEBICH Jonas COWAN Olivia
5 Norway 64 64 -8 HOVLAND Viktor NORDAAS Sandra
6 Sweden 65 65 -7 KINHULT Marcus STROM Linnea
6 South Africa 65 65 -7 iV|CCLATCH|E Kyle James TELFER Kaleigh Dene
6 Denmark 65 65 -7 PULTZ PINNERUP AXE PEDERSEN Emily Kristine
9 India 66 66 -6 GAREWAL Feroz ASHOKAditi
9 Chinese Taipei 66 66 -6 YU Chun-An CHENG Ssu-Chia
11 Mexico 67 67 -5 TERRAZAS MORALES Aaron FASSI ALVAREZ Maria Jose
12 Spain 68 68 -4 CANTERO GUTIERREZ Ivan BARQUIN AROZAMENA Celia
12 Thailand 68 68 -4 BOONMA Danthai SANGCHAN Supamas
12 Japan 68 68 -4 OKAZAKI Ren SHINOHARA Maria
12 New Zealand 68 68 -4 COXON Nick ALVAREZ Julianne
12 Hong Kong,China 68 68 -4 LAM Lucas Chadwick TAM Kitty
17 Slovenia 69 69 -3 STIRN Zan Luka BELAC Ana
17 Venezuela 69 69 -3 GARCIA Jorge MERCHAN Maria Andreina
17 Canada 69 69 -3 GIL Tony SZERYK Madeline
17 Belgium 69 69 -3 de BONDTAlan AVELING Clara
17 Malaysia 69 69 -3 LOW Khai Jei KAN Kah Yan
22 ChinaISwitzerIand 70 70 -2 DOU Zecheng (CHN) MElCHTRYAze|ia (SUI)
23 France 71 71 -1 ELISSALDE Paul VEYSSEYRE Marion
23 Austria 71 71 -1 SCHWAB Johannes ZEITLER Lea
25 Ireland 72 72 PAR Le BLANC Kevin MEHAFFEY Olivia
25 Guam 72 72 PAR HUA Devin VONGJALORN Nalathai
25 Finland 72 72 PAR LINDELL Oliver SALONEN Sandra
28 ArgentinaIPanama 73 73 +1 CABARCOS Marcos (PAN) GOICOECHEA RUIZ Sofia (ARG)
28 Netherlands 73 73 +1 KEUNEN Lars HARRYVAN Marit
30 Cook Islands 78 78 +6 KIRIA Rayman Winston Nicolas AKAMA Memory