Italy snaps medal drought in World Amateur Team by taking gold

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In 31 previous appearances in the World Amateur Team Championship, Italy hadn’t won a single medal. On Saturday, a teenager led his country to gold.

Marco Florioli, 17, shot a bogey-free six-under-par 66 and powered the Italians to a one-stroke victory over Sweden at Le Golf National in Paris. Italy secured the Eisenhower Trophy by notching a 72-hole total of 31 under. The United States was four shots back to finish third.

In the tight competition between Italy and Sweden, the par-5 14th hole was pivotal. Fiorioli holed out a chip there, while teammate Petro Bovari made an incredible 70-foot eagle putt en route to shooting 68.

“I was feeling that I was going to make a birdie on that chip, and I made it,” said Florioli said. “I played the last four holes in par, par, par, par and that is a great final on this golf course.”

Bovari, who plays at the University of Virginia, reached the 569-yard 14th with a 3-wood.

“Sometimes it happens,” Bovari said of his eagle putt. “Today was one of those days. It went in the dead middle of the cup. I didn’t have the strength in me to yell. I put my arms up to celebrate.”

Italy got the victory despite the non-counting 70 shot by Filippo Celli, who was the low amateur in the 2022 Open Championship at St. Andrews.

“Florioli played so well on the back nine with a fantastic attitude,” said Italian captain Matteo Delpodio. “He was under pressure, but he was making it so easy. Bovari had two big putts on 13 and 14. To win such a tournament there must be some magic. You cannot pre-plan everything. There must be some moments when you understand everything is coming together. I realized on 14 that it was our moment. I was pretty sure it was going to end with a victory.”

American Austin Greaser, the 2021 U.S. Amateur runner-up, and Sweden’s Tobias each shot 17-under 269 for the low individual scores. Stanford’s Michael Thorbjorsen was 13 under for the U.S., while 2022 NCAA champion Gordon Sargent, of Vanderbilt, had a five-under total.

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