Justin Rose beats Henrik Stenson in tense finale to become Olympic Champion
Justin Rose, of Team GB, became the first Olympic golf champion in over 100 years by beating Ryder Cup team mate Henrik Stenson at the last hole.
Rose and Stenson were tied on 15 under par but Rose nailed a birdie putt to win by two shots.
The current Open champion and Swede, Stenson, took silver and American Matt Kuchar claimed bronze.
Rose said before the tournament, “If my career one day read, Justin Rose, multiple major champion (because I am still gunning for a few more of those) and an Olympics gold medalist. I mean, I think that is how that will read. It’s got that ‘and’. It is its own little bracket, it is a niche achievement and something I am very excited about.”
After claiming victory, Rose said, “That felt better than anything I’ve ever won.”
”It was the best tournament I’ve ever done. Hopefully we’ve shown Brazil what golf is about. I’m glad it was close. Not for my nerves, for golf.”
Golf organisations lobbied hard to get golf back into the Olympics, only for several high-profile golfers to pull out, including the top four in the world, but Rose was eager to compete, having relished the prospect of becoming an Olympian since the return to golf was confirmed.
Rose has certainly set his place in history with the first hole-in-one in the opening round and ending it with a historic gold.
I’ve had a few fitness issues this year,” he said. “In the back of my mind I wanted to be 100% for Rio. I’ve done a lot of hard work and I’ve sacrificed a lot of hours in the gym just to really get myself feeling good. To be honest, things started to really trend up this week. I felt strong, my recovery was great and each day I came out playing my best golf.”
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