Taiwanese golfer Yu Chun-an won a gold medal in the men’s individual division at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, China, yesterday, Taiwan’s second gold at the international sports meeting.
Yu, who celebrated his 15th birthday earlier in the month, won the three-round tournament with a 13-under score of 203, defeating silver medalist Manu Gandas of India by two strokes.
The Taiwanese player opened a five-shot lead after the first round with an eight-under 64 and never relinquished it over the final two days.
His lead narrowed to three strokes after an inconsistent second-round 70, in which he made eight birdies, but also had two double-bogeys and two bogeys over his last nine holes of the day.
However, Yu distanced himself from his rivals early in the final round with four birdies on the front nine, followed by bogeys on the 10th and 17th sandwiched around a birdie on the 14th.
Gandas, an Indian competing as an “independent Olympic athlete” because of India’s suspension from the Olympic movement in December last year for electing corruption-tainted officials to the Indian Olympic Association, took silver.
Thailand’s Danthai Boonma took bronze with a three-day total of 207.
Yu, who will begin high school next month, said he was happy to win the gold medal, and hoped to share the joy with his family and coach.
He was especially grateful to his father, even if they have had their share of run-ins because of differences in philosophy.
“My father made sure I had good fundamentals,” Yu said of his father, a former professional golfer who now runs a course in Taoyuan County. “We use golf to bond.”
Looking to the future, Yu said he hopes to play on the PGA Tour in the US in a few years’ time.
Team Taiwan won their first gold medal at this year’s Games, which are open to athletes born in 1997 or later, in the men’s javelin on Monday.