Wednesday 28 September 2016

Rose fends off Stenson with birdie on last to secure gold

Phil Casey

Published 15/08/2016 | 02:30

Rose carded a closing 67 at Reserva de Marapendi to finish 16-under par and two shots ahead of Ryder Cup partner Stenson. Photo: Sportsfile
Rose carded a closing 67 at Reserva de Marapendi to finish 16-under par and two shots ahead of Ryder Cup partner Stenson. Photo: Sportsfile

Justin Rose claimed another gold for Great Britain as he saw off the Henrik Stenson after an exciting final-round duel in Rio.

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Rose carded a closing 67 at Reserva de Marapendi to finish 16-under par and two shots ahead of Ryder Cup partner Stenson, with Matt Kuchar claiming bronze for America after a superb 63.

The outcome was only decided on the 72nd hole when Rose pitched to three feet to set up a decisive birdie and Stenson missed his attempt from long range, before the Swede also missed the return putt for par. That left the stage clear for Rose to tap in and seal victory before punching the air in delight.

"It feels absolutely incredible," Rose said. "I was on that last green, just sort of pinching myself and taking myself back to the quote that I had given about the Olympics all along - I hope my resume one day reads 'multiple major champion and Olympic gold medallist'.

"But let's just call it major champion and Olympic gold medallist, I'd be a very, very happy man.

"The whole week I've been so focused. I've been so into it. I've been so up for it. I've been just so determined to represent Team GB as best as I could, and it was just the most magical week, it really was."

Asked about his battle with Stenson after the pair won all three of their matches together at Gleneagles in 2014, Rose added: "I just said today that I had to out-Stenson Stenson. I knew I wasn't going to get much from him at all. Obviously the bogey at the last only came because he had to force the putt in. But he is unbelievable. He's relentless and a great player and I can't wait to be on the same team as him in the Ryder Cup."

Stenson had been hampered by a back problem, but refused to use it as an excuse.

"I had a bit of an issue, my thoracic spine locked up after 13 holes and put me out of rhythm a little, but I was still there at the end and it came down to whoever made birdie down the last," he said.

"I'm pleased with my performance. When you're in good position to try and win, you always kind of feel a little disappointed afterwards. But at the same time, there are some pretty good consolation prizes."

Irish Independent

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