Golf Asia



Justin Rose arrived in Rio with his last victory having come 10 months earlier at the UBS Hong Kong Open, taking his place in a field of 60 men that included newly-crowned Open Champion Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia and Patrick Reed. On Gil Hanse’s new Olympic Course in Barra da Tijuca, Rose made history on day one by becoming the first player ever to make a hole-in-one in an Olympic competitio­n with an ace on the par-3 4th. A 67 for the day left him four strokes behind the leader, Australia’s Marcus Fraser. The four-shot deficit remained after day two, Rose remaining tied for fourth with Thomas Pieters and Stenson one and two shots respective­ly adrift of Fraser. But Saturday saw a -6 65 that included two eagles and left Rose in the lead going into the final day, a shot clear of second-placed Stenson. In a made-for-tv duel, the pair remained inseparabl­e through 71 holes, both 15-under par as they stepped onto the final green, but the Swede blinked first. With the Briton’s third shot landing within three feet of the pin, Stenson needed to make his own birdie with a 20ft-putt. The Open champion three-putted for bogey, leaving Rose two putts for the first Olympic gold medal in golf since 1904. He took one for birdie and gold. “It’s a dream come true,” he later explained.

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