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Stephanie left to rue missed chance as Lin makes history

By Ben Baker

Published 20/08/2016

Focused: Stephanie Meadow on her way to a level-par 71 yesterday
Focused: Stephanie Meadow on her way to a level-par 71 yesterday

Golfing history was made on hole eight at Rio 2016 yesterday, but Stephanie Meadow could only look back at that same pin with a feeling of regret.

Day three saw China's Xiyu Lin write her name into the history books as she became the first woman to hit a hole in one at an Olympic Games when she aced the par-three eighth hole.

And it appeared it was catching as shortly afterwards teenage sensation Lydia Ko of New Zealand repeated the feat on the same hole.

Heading to that same hole Meadow looked on course to do something special too having birdied the previous four holes.

But with that confidence flowing through her the 24-year-old from Jordanstown miscued and ended up in the bunker, picking up a double bogey.

That halted Meadow's progress and through the back nine she picked up two more bogeys and just one birdie - on the 15th - to leave her level-par for the day.

"It was an up and down day," she said. "I got myself to three under at one point and made a big mistake on eight.

"But that is what this course is about, there are some hazards out there and you have to play smart and unfortunately I got a little bit too aggressive and it didn't play off.

"But I fought back. The golf course is playing quite aggressive and that back nine is pretty tough, those incoming holes - 16, 17 and 18 - aren't as easy as what they were.

"I was perhaps a bit too confident after the four birdies in a row before the eighth. I made the decision to hit a small feel shot with my eight iron and I kind of clanked it a little bit and came up short and ended up in a bunker.

"It was about a 20, 25-yard wind out there so it is up there for sure and made things tricky."

Meadow's level-par 71 sees her one over heading into the final day, sitting tied for 26th, South Korean Inbee Park leading on 11-under, while nine-under is needed for a spot on the podium.

And while she might be too far away to battle it out for a historic medal at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio, Meadow insists she can still hold her head up high going into the final day after battling back from an opening round six-over par.

"Especially after what happened the first day I am pretty pleased with where I am," Meadow said.

"I am pretty pleased with shooting under par to get back after that first day and then to shoot even in pretty tough conditions here."

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