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Italy snaps medal drought at World Amateur Team Championship by taking gold; U.S. finishes third

September 03, 2022
Marco Florioli of Italy

Marco Florioli of Italy reacts to sinking his par putt at the 18th hole during the final round of the World Team Championship.

Steven Gibbons

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 outside Paris. Italy secured the Eisenhower Trophy by shooting a 72-hole total of 31 under, one shot better than Sweden. The United States was four shots back to finish third.

In the tight competition between the Italians and the Swedes, the par-5 14th hole was pivotal. Fiorioli holed out a chip for birdie, 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,” 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.