Paris, France – Thanks to a final round score of 3-under 68, Virginia senior Pietro Bovari helped Italy to the gold medal in the World Amateur Team Championship Saturday at Le Golf National in Paris. It was the country’s first medal in 32 WATC appearances. His teammate, Marco Florioli, shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 during the final round to lead the Italian team.
“The key point today is that I have seen our players winning without thinking about the results,” said Italian captain Matteo Delpodio. “They were winners on the golf course. When you see players playing this way with this attitude, the results do not matter. What matters is that they played like champions.”
Italy’s 72-hole hole score of 31-under-par 541 was one stroke better than silver-medal winning Sweden and four better than the bronze medal winners from the USA.
Bovari tied for 11th in stroke play, shooting 11-under 275.
In a tightly contested back nine, Italy and Sweden gained a slight separation from the field, but the par-5 14th hole proved to be pivotal because of the play of Florioli and Bovari.
Florioli was the first Italian player out and holed a chip shot on the 14th and Bovari followed with an eagle for a three-stroke gain on Sweden.
“I was feeling that I was going to make a birdie on that chip, and I made it,” said Florioli. “I played the last four holes in par, par, par, par and that is a great final on this golf course.”
Bovari reached the 569-yard 14th with a 3-wood that stopped on the green, 70 feet from the hole.
“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.”
“Florioli played so well on the back nine with a fantastic attitude,”. “He was under pressure, but he was making it so easy.”
“Bovari had two big putts on 13 and 14,” said Delpodio. “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.”
Italy is one of nine nations to participate in all 32 World Amateur Team Championships since 1958. Their previous best finishes were a tie for fourth in 2004 and 2008.
Completing the top 10, Norway was fourth, its best-ever finish, Spain was fifth, France was sixth, Japan, the 18- and 36-hole leader was seventh, Austria and Wales shared eighth and Finland was 10th.
Italy receives custody of the Eisenhower Trophy until the next World Amateur Team Championship in Dubai, UAE, in October of 2023.