Ireland's Kevin Le Blanc and Olivia Mehaffey finished tied for 27th as Sweden won the gold medal after a dramatic play-off victory over Korea in the Mixed Team event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics in China.
Le Blanc shot a one under 71 in the singles-format third and final round at at Zhongshan International Golf Club as Mehaffey posted an 80 to leave Ireland on 12 over 300.
The Swedish pairing of Marcus Kinhult, who won the silver medal in the Men’s Individual Stroke Play event last week, and Linnea Strom won on the second extra hole against Korea when the 18-year-old Kinhult holed an eight foot birdie putt on the par four 18th hole for a team score of eight after the team has tied on 16 under 272.
There was also a play off for the bronze with the Italian team of Renato Paratore, who won Gold in the Men’s Individual Stroke Play, and Virginia Elena Carta caming out on top against Denmark’s John Paul Pultz Pinnerup Axelsen and Emily Kristine Pedersen by eight shots to nine at the first extra hole. Both teams had finished tied on 14-under-par.
“I feel so happy and proud winning the Gold Medal,” said Marcus. “It’s fun to play as a team and is more enjoyable than individual games. To be part of the team, to be part of the Olympics and to win the Gold Medal has been so much fun.”
Sweden did not get off to a good start when Strom double-bogeyed her first hole but she bounced back quickly, carding five birdies on the first nine. The Swedish Team posted 12 birdies before the decisive birdie on the second play-off hole.
“We never gave up and made a lot of birdies today,” added Linnea. “We had a lot of fun playing together as a team.”
The Korean team of Lee Soyoung, the Women’s Individual Stroke Play Gold Medalist, and Youm Eun Ho finished level with Sweden on 16-under-par. They trailed by one stroke coming down the 18th but Lee rolled in a 12 ft birdie putt to reach the play-off.
Both teams parred the first play-off hole. On the second, Lee’s approach shot from the fairway was short of the green and found a green side bunker. The ball was half embedded into the sand and she failed to find the green.
“Second place is a good achievement,” said Lee, “We are very happy to win the Silver Medal although we lost the play-off.”
“We tried our best but Sweden did better. They deserve to win,” added Youm.
As for the bronze medallists, Paratore said: “We are a little bit disappointed, we were hoping to win but we are ok with the Bronze Medal. We played really well on the first nine but the second nine was very bad.”
Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, attended the closing stages of the final round.
Mixed Team, Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics, China
1 Sweden 65 67 140 272 -16
2 Korea 61 71 140 272 -16
3 Italy 62 72 140 274 -14
4 Denmark 65 65 144 274 -14
5 Chinese Taipei 66 67 142 275 -13
6 Germany 63 72 141 276 -12
7 Japan 68 70 139 277 -11
8 Venezuela 69 70 139 278 -10
9 Thailand 68 70 141 279 -9
10 New Zealand 68 73 139 280 -8