Italy’s Renato Paratore and Soyoung Lee from Korea claimed golf’s first medallist honours at the Summer Youth Olympics in Nanjing, while South African juniors Kaleigh Telfer and Kyle McClatchie finished with mixed results in Nanjing on Thursday. Paratore carded rounds of 72, 67 and 66 at the Zhongshan International Golf Club to claim the Boys Individual Stroke Play title with a winning score of 11-under-par 205. The Italian won by two shots from Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult and finished five strokes clear of Thailand’s Danthai Boonma and Viktor Hovland from Norway.
Africa Youth Games champion McClatchie carded rounds of 81, 73 and 72 to take 25th place overall on 10-over-par 226. “Kyle started promisingly with pars over the first six holes in the first round, but a mistake at the par-five seventh cost him two shots. From there his game progressively just got worse and he turned in 40. He had a mixed bag of birdies, double drops and bogeys on the back nine to finish with an 81. He spent a lot of time on the driving range after the first round and came out fighting in the second round. While most of the players scored worse, he improved by eight shots and his 73 could have been even lower if his putter warmed up. In the final round, he shaved off another shot for an even-par 72. Despite the second scores in the second and third round, the first round just did too much damage to improve his position by much,” said golf code manager, Gavin Reynolds. Girls Individual Stroke Play winner Lee carded rounds of 69 68 65 to triumph on 14-under-par 202.
She beat Ssu-Chia Cheng from Chinese Taipei by three shots and finished seven strokes ahead of Thailand’s Supamas Shangchan. Telfer carded an opening 10-over-par 82, but also rallied in the second round and signed for a 77. Unfortunately there was a mistake on her card and the 15-year-old Bryanston golfer was disqualified. Reynolds explained, “Kaleigh scored six at the ninth hole, but her marker wrote down five on the scorecard. Kaleigh didn’t check her scorecard properly and missed the mistake. She signed for a 77, when in fact, she scored 78. When we were called in about 10 minutes later and she was asked by the referee what she made at the ninth, she immediately responded that she made six.”
Reynolds said that Telfer had a ruling at her final hole, which upset her and probably led to her disqualification. “Kaleigh drove the ball into the trees at the 18th. She thought she was entitled to relief from an immovable obstruction, however, the rules official did not agree. He used the exception rule and Kaleigh was denied relief. She ended up making a double bogey and left the course clearly upset with the ruling. Unfortunately this is a hard lesson for any golfer and an even tougher life lesson for her,” said Reynolds. Telfer will have the chance to redeem herself when she lines up with McClatchie in the Mix Gender Team event from 24-26 August at the same venue.
Meanwhile 16-year-old Tony Gill also owns a piece of history after recording the first hole-in-one at the Youth Olympic Games. The Canadian golfer aced the par-three third from 164 yards, wielding a seven-iron. “It was a little humid, so I went with the seven-iron. I knew I’d hit it close, but didn’t know it was in until we got to the green. That’s so cool. It was actually my first hole-in-one of my career,” Gill said.
Photo: Kyle McClatchie from South Africa tees off at the seventh hole at the Zhongshan International Golf Club during the Summer Youth Olympics Boys Individual Stroke Play event
Photo credit: Gavin Reynolds.