• 2013 US Open champ wins gold on final day in Rio
• Brit succeeds George Lyon as Olympic golf champion
• Stenson claims silver; Kuchar takes bronze
Olympic Men’s Golf: Final Standings
-16 Justin Rose; -14 Henrik Stenson; -13 Matt Kuchar; -9 Thomas Pieters; -8 Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Marcus Fraser; -7 Sergio Garcia, Bubba Watson, Emiliano Grillo. Selected others: -6 Patrick Reed; -5 Martin Kaymer; Level Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler
Justin Rose has become the first Olympic golf gold medallist since George Lyon in 1904, after clinching victory in Rio de Janeiro today.
The 36-year-old former US Open champion birdied the 72nd hole to to win by two shots from Open champion Henrik Stenson. The Swede claimed the silver medal, with America's Matt Kuchar taking home bronze.
Rose, who holed the first-known Olympic hole-in-one during Thursday's opening round, held a one-shot lead going into the final round in Rio. had four birdies and one bogey in an outward nine of 32.
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After dropping a shot on 13, he found himself tied for the lead with Stenson, before getting in front again with a birdie at the par-5 15th. Stenson closed the gap with a birdie of his own on 16, before Rose hit his third shot on the par-5 18th to three feet. By contrast, Stenson's approach spun back off the green, leaving him with a long birdie chance, which he was unable to convert. He then missed his par effort, giving Rose two putts for gold. In the end, he only needed one.
"This is something I've focused on, something I've been hungry for" - Justin Rose
"The mind is scrambled right now," Rose told the BBC afterwards. "I’m just taking it all in. This is something I’ve focused on, something I’ve been hungry for, something I wanted to peak for. It has been at the very forefront of my mind for the last few months. Hopefully, it was an exciting finish and people could really get into it. I believe it was a great showcase for the first time having golf in the Olympics in 112 years."
He added: "The medal ceremony was a surreal experience. It’s something I’ve seen and witnessed many times in other sports but to see Matt and Henrik, two good friends of mine, up there was just something to behold. It was an amazing experience, it really was."
Many have criticised golf's reinstatement to the Olympics, arguing that it does not deserve to be there given that it already has four events - the majors - that are already widely acknowledged as the pinnacle of the sport. High-profile withdrawals in the lead-up to the event merely fanned the flames of contention.
Rose, however, is confident that the sceptics will be left to eat their words.
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"They’re absolutely wrong," he added. "Every single player who came down to Rio will admit they’ve had the most amazing week of their golfing lives because it has been so unique, it has been so different. The competition has been first-class.
"Going up against Henrik Stenson – probably the best player in the world right now – was obviously a huge challenge and that’s what the Olympics is all about. It’s about the best of the best bringing their best game on the day and today proved to be a great final round."
Kuchar, meantime, carded a superb eight-under 63 to scythe through the field and win the bronze medal on 13-under-par. That was four shots better than fourth-placed Thomas Pieters of Belgium, with Spain's Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and 36-hole leader Marcus Fraser tied for fifth on eight-under.
Justin Rose - Gold Medallist: Your Reaction
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