After all those controversies and withdrawals by top golfers, golf’s return to Olympics turned out to be a huge and unexpected success.
Great Britain’s Justin Rose scripted history after scoring an ace on day 1 and continued his fine form to win the gold medal. Justin Rose scored a total of 268 after his four rounds of game play.
“This has resonated far wider than my US Open win,” admitted Rose who won his only major to date at Merion in 2013. The golfer says he has received congratulatory messages from “the darkest recesses” of his phone’s contacts book.
“I’ve actually had more messages after the men’s Olympic golf event than I’ve had after Open Championships,” he said. “The reaction has been terrific.
“These smaller countries that asked us, begged us, to get golf into the Olympics were dead right.
“It is going to increase exposure in their countries, get more government recognition and funding to the game, which – apart from expanding our competitive landscape – is why we did this.”
Henrik Stenson scored a total of 270 after his four rounds to win a silver for his country.
Henrik tweeted “Thanks for all the support, did not win the gold but I leave with silver and memories that will last forever! Congrats Justin.”
The 38-year-old Matt Kuchar fired an eight-under 63 to match the four-day-old course record set by Marcus Fraser and earn an improbable bronze medal.
“I’ve never been so excited to finish top-three in my life,” he said. “I’ve never felt so much pride busting out of my chest.”
The India duo of SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri had a disappointing end to their Olympic journey as they finished tied 50 and 57 to end their medal dreams.
The golf’s women event at Olympics begins today.