In 2016, golf will return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. The sport is getting a head start at the Youth Olympics, where it’s being contested for the first time in Nanjing this week.
The first rounds were played at Zhongshan International Golf Club on Tuesday. The separate men’s and women’s tournaments are three rounds each, 54 stroke-play holes total, concluding Thursday. A mixed team event takes place next week.
The fields were capped at 32 men and 32 women, maximum one man and one woman per country based off world amateur rankings. No Americans are playing.
The Youth Olympics continue with coverage on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Youth Olympics broadcast schedule
A hole-in-one highlighted the first day of golf competition.
“Oh really?” Gil reportedly said after being told he struck the first hole-in-one in Olympic history. “That’s very cool. It was actually the first hole-in-one in my career, too!”
Gil, 16, carded a 3-under 69 and was three shots off the Swedish and Australian men’s leaders after the first round. Four golfers — from Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan and South Korea — shared the women’s lead at 3 under.
Video: ‘Yogging’ a hit at Youth Olympics
David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.
“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”
Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.
It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.
Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.
She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.
“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”
Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.
MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics
Claressa Shields may just be the most dominant female athlete on the planet. The Flint, Mich., native is now a two-time Olympic boxing champion with a 77-1 record and a four-year unbeaten streak.
Actor Mark Wahlberg, who played boxer Micky Ward in the 2010 film “The Fighter,” took notice.
He taped a video that Shields watched before a celebration in her hometown Thursday, according to the Flint Journal.
“You are the true definition of a champion,” Wahlberg said. “You continue to inspire so many people, not only in Flint, but all over the world. I’m so proud of you. Your performance was amazing. God bless you. I look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to doing lots of things with you.”
Now Shields must decide whether to turn professional, which would end her Olympic career.
“Professional women’s boxing is not nowhere near on the same attention level as the Olympics are,” the 21-year-old Shields said, according to the Flint Journal. “I get way more attention than any female boxer who is professional right now with me being an amateur.
“So the goal is to go professional but still have that same attention and same mainstream. Hopefully, if they have the rule changed that the women professionals can come back and fight the Olympics, I would go professional to fight on TV and make a bunch of money but then come back and defend my two gold medals in 2020.”
MORE: Shields becomes first U.S. fighter to win back-to-back golds