Justin Rose wins Olympic gold for GB in Rio thriller

Rose beat Henrik Stenson to become the first Olympic golf champion for 112 years

Justin Rose wins Olympic Gold
Justin Rose wins Olympic Gold
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Justin Rose secured gold for GB in the men’s Olympic Golf Competition, beating Sweden’s Henrik Stenson by two shots in Rio de Janeiro.

Justin Rose fired a closing 67 over the Olympic Golf Course in Rio to beat Henrik Stenson and become the first Olympic golf champion for 112 years.

Rose began the final day one clear of Open winner Henrik Stenson and the pair had a superb battle through the final round.

Rose and Stenson pulled away from the pack on the front nine on Sunday and, despite a brilliant run from Matt Kuchar of the USA, it came down to the two Europeans at the climax of the first Olympic golf tournament since 1904.

After Stenson had made a fine birdie at the 16th and both he and Rose had parred the short 17th, they were tied on 15-under with just the 18th to play.

Both men fired to the right from the tee, but both stopped short of serious trouble. Good second shots to within 50 yards of the green meant the event would be decided by a test of Rose and Stenson’s short games. Stenson played a poor pitch by his standards and left himself 25 feet short of the cup. Rose then hit a sublime third to within a couple of feet of the cup. When Stenson raced his birdie effort past and missed the return putt, the pressure was off Rose and he holed out for a two shot win.

Watched on by huge galleries, the win was vindication for Rose’s great support for golf’s return to the Olympic programme.

“It feels absolutely incredible. The whole week, I’ve been so into it and up for it,” he said. “I’ve been determined to represent Team GB as best as I could and it was the most magical week.”

Justin Rose swing sequence:

Despite a bogey at the home hole, Stenson took the silver medal for Sweden and Matt Kuchar claimed bronze for the USA after a marvelous final round of 63.

Belgian Thomas Pieters was fourth after closing with a 65, and he was a shot clear of Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello, Australian Marcus Fraser and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat in tied fifth.

Spain’s Sergio Garcia, Argentina's Emiliano Grillo and American Bubba Watson finished at seven-under-par to round out the top-10.

Rose and Stenson will now turn their attentions to the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine where both men will be key members of Darren Clarke’s European team.

Olympic Men’s Golf Competition results Date: August 11-14

1    Justin Rose (GB)            67    69    65    67    268 2    Henrik Stenson (Swe)        66    68    68    68    270 3    Matt Kuchar (USA)        69    70    69    63    271 4    Thomas Pieters (Bel)        67    66    77    65    275 T5    Rafa Cabrera Bello (Esp)    67    70    71    68    276 T5    Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha)    71    69    69    67    276 T5    Marcus Fraser (Aus)        63    69    72    72    276 T8    Sergio Garcia (Esp)        69    72    70    66    277 T8    Bubba Watson (USA)        73    67    67    70    277 T8    Emiliano Grillo (Arg)        70    69    68    70    277

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?