Team USA sweeps the golf events at the Olympic Games!
The past few weeks in Tokyo were the 2020 (rescheduled to this year due to COVID-19) Olympic Games! Which included the Olympic golf competitions, one for the men and one for the women.
The men's event took place first and all the men were ready to compete after getting all their Covid tests to be ready and eligible. For many, it was their first Olympic games and an experience that as for every Olympian will never be forgotten. All week players were out posting low rounds and trying to keep themselves in medal contention come Sunday. Xander Schauffele, Team USA, was in a great spot heading into Sunday's final round and was able to card a -4, 67 to earn his gold medal! Rory Sabbatini came out of nowhere on Sunday with a final round 61, a whopping -10 to win himself a silver medal! For bronze, it was a bit more challenging to be the one standing on that podium as there was a seven-man play-off to win that medal. The play-off included the likes of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa, and Japan's own Hideki Matsuyama along with others, but CT Pan came out on top to secure his bronze medal spot!
The women competed the next week and after undergoing all of their Covid tests and getting set in the Olympic Villiage they were ready. Gaby Lopez, Team Mexico, had been there since the opening ceremonies where she had the honor of carrying the flag for her home country! After a -5 round one, Madelene Sagstrom, Team Sweden, held the solo lead but that didn't last long as world number 1 Nelly Korda, Team USA, was in a tie for second on day one and came out of the gates firing at flags and making birdies on day two carding a -9, 62 (with a double-bogey on the last hole, so crazy!)! Seeing all the incredible players vying at their shots for medals was so exciting. Nelly posted a pair of 69's on the final two days of the event but she was uncatchable as the week went on, and came out with the gold medal! Aditi Ashok, Team India, gave Nelly a run for her money along with Emily Kristine Pedersen, Team Denmark, both of whom unfortunately finished just out of the medals but gained fans around the world with their phenomenal performances. It came down to Lydia Ko, Team New Zealand, and Mone Inami, Team Japan, who were tied at -16 total, in a playoff for the silver and bronze medals! Mone Inami, with the pressure of her home country watching to be the only Japanese golfer to medal in the Olympics, made par on the first playoff hole to earn herself the silver medal! Lydia made an unfortunate bogey that led her to the bronze medal! Lydia was the only Olympic golfer to win a second medal after her silver medal in the 2016 Rio games.
Watching golf in the Olympics wasn't something we expected to see until it made its return in 2016 and it was another stellar show in this edition! It is so inspiring to see the sport I love so much be represented in the Olympic Games by such incredible athletes and motivates me to work even harder knowing I have the potential to be an Olympian someday. Great playing by all the Olympic Golfers and congratulations to the phenomenal medalists!!
Also, congratulations to all of the Olympians on amazing performances and being so inspiring and talented! Already counting down to the winter games in six months and then the 2024 games in Paris!
~NH Golfer Gal