No joy for Irish as women's golf is poised for epic finale
Published 20/08/2016 | 02:30
The stage is set for a fascinating final round of the women's golf competition at the Rio Olympics, but Ireland's Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow are only playing for pride today.
Maguire got to five-under-par after five holes, having started at three-under, but as the round went on, she lost her momentum and finished with 74 for level-par and 24th place.
Stephanie Meadow's level-par 71 left her at one-over for the tournament in joint 26th position.
All the action was concentrated at the top of the leaderboard, with overnight leader Inbee Park keen to extend her advantage on the high-quality field.
Unlike some of the elite male golfers, the top players in the women's world rankings turned up to compete for the medals on offer in this historic return of golf to the Games.
Park, seven times a major champion, carded 70 for 11-under-par to lead by two shots from world number one Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and USA's Gerina Piller, with China's Feng Shanshan tucked in at fourth place at eight-under.
Ko was the star of the day.
The 19-year-old Korean-born competitor scored the first ace of her career at the par-3 eighth en route to 29 for the front nine.
She maintained admirable composure on the back nine, registering a par on each hole, to move from three-under at the start of the day to nine-under.
"To make my first hole in one at the Olympics is pretty cool. I'm really happy with the way I played today," she said.
Meanwhile, Paul Dunne is the only Irishman left in the Czech Masters in Prague. He shot 71 for one-under par.
Sweden's Jeff Winther and Tomas Pieters (Germany) were tied for the lead on 10-under, four shots clear of the field.