Inami puts Japan on Olympic golfing map

Inami puts Japan on Olympic golfing map

Tokyo, Japan, August 7, 2021: Mone Inami won silver in the women’s golf tournament on Saturday, August 7 to give Japan its first Olympic medal in the sport.

World No. 1 Nelly Korda of the United States won the gold medal by one shot, adding the women’s Olympic title to the men’s won by Xander Schauffele earlier in the Games.

Inami, 22, beat New Zealand’s Lydia Ko in the first hole of a play-off for the silver medal after both players shot 65 and were tied for second at 16-under after 72 holes at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo.

There was heartbreak for India’s Aditi Ashok, who narrowly missed out on a medal by finishing fourth, one shot off the podium, from the field of 60 golfers. She will still go down in the record books as the Indian golfer with the best finish ever at the Olympics.

American Korda led by as many as three shots on the back nine. In the end, she needed two putts from just inside 30 feet on the 18th hole for par and 2-under-69 to aggregate 17-under 267.

Inami, who joined the Japan LPGA Tour in 2018 and has seven wins, made bogey from a plugged lie in the bunker on the 18th hole and faced a play-off against Ko which she won on the first hole to take silver. Ko had to settle for the bronze.

Ashok also had a chance to be in medal contention going into the last hole. The 23-year-old Indian had a 25-foot birdie putt that slid by the hole and kept her off the podium.

Yuka Saso of the Philippines finished tied for ninth position. The 2018 Asian Games double gold medallist – individual and team – shot a sizzling 65 in the last round but it wasn’t enough to make up for a disappointing 74 in the opening round, leaving her seven shots behind the winner on 274.

China’s Feng Shanshan finished in eighth place carding 67 to total 273.