Britain’s Justin Rose outplayed Sweden’s Henrik Stenson in a tension-packed final-round thriller to win the first Olympic golf gold medal in 112 years at the Rio Games men’s tournament.
Rose sank an 18-inch birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole to complete a four-under par 67 and finish 72 holes on 16-under 268.
Stenson closed with a bogey to take the silver on 270, one stroke ahead of US bronze medalist Matt Kuchar.
Just a month after fifth-ranked Stenson won his first major title at last month’s British Open in a final-day battle with American Phil Mickelson, he found himself locked in a similar fight with 12th-ranked Rose, the 2013 US Open champion.
At the par-5 18th, Stenson was shy of the green with his approach while Rose was left of the green with bunkers between, the gold fight down to a pitch and putt contest.
Stenson’s ball hit the green and spun well back from the cup. Rose followed and pitched the ball 18 inches from the hole. Stenson ran his 22-foot birdie attempt eight feet past the hole, then missed his comeback putt for par and settled for bogey and a round of 68.
Seconds later, Rose tapped in for the victory, raising his right fist into the air and then using it to tap the Team GB logo on his shirt over his heart.
Kuchar emerged from a host of contenders to take the last podium spot by firing a 63, matching the Olympic record set in round one by Australian Marcus Fraser, who only made it into the field after the withdrawals of Australia’s top golfers, including world number one Jason Day, who led the top four golfers in the world in opting out of golf’s return to the Olympic stage.