Rose blooms after golf ends 112 'barren' years
BRITAIN'S Justin Rose was listening to God Save The Queen and watching the Union Jack rise into the sky on Sunday while still trying to fully appreciate the historic Olympic gold medal around his neck.
The 36-year-old Englishman had outduelled Sweden's Henrik Stenson in a tension-packed final-round thriller to capture the first Olympic golf title in 112 years and was in the midst of a dream made real while on the podium.
"That was a really surreal moment," Rose said. "It's a moment we've seen in other sports. It felt very different to any other tournament."
Rose pitched the ball 18 inches from the cup on the par-five 18th hole and sank the birdie putt to beat Stenson by two strokes for the greatest triumph of his life.
Rose fired a closing four-under 67 to finish 72 holes on 16-under 268. Stenson, whose poor chip left him a near-impossible putt to stay level with Rose, closed with a bogey to take the silver on 270, one stroke ahead of United States bronze medallist Matt Kuchar.
"I have no regrets. I did as well as I could," Stenson said.
"To be an Olympic medallist is something special.
"It was the gift of a lifetime coming here."