This is how the IOC would’ve drawn it up when it allowed golf back into the Olympics: two great PGA tour pros striding up the 18th hole dead even.
Great Britain’s Justin Rose, who aced a par-3 in the first round, won Olympic gold by two strokes over Sweden’s Henrik Stenson to culminate and up-and-down four days at the Olympic Golf Course in Rio.
Stenson claimed silver, while surging Matt Kuchar of the USA snagged bronze.
[ MORE: Rewatch the dramatic final round ]
Marcus Fraser of Australia led the first two days, but shot two-straight 1-over 72s to finish tied for fifth.
Kuchar’s minus-8 was the top final round, while countryman Patrick Reed’s minus-7 helped make amends for a brutal start.
Bubba Watson finished tied for 8th, Watson tied for 11th, and Rickie Fowler’s 74 dropped him into a tie for 37th.
Justin Rose has a hole-in-one and the lead heading into the fourth and final round of men’s golf in Rio.
We’d call that a successful Olympic Games so far for the Great Britain golfer.
Rose, 36, shot a 65 for the third round, moving atop the leaderboard for the tournament at 12-under.
Henrik Stenson is a stroke back, while two-round leader Marcus Fraser of Australia sank to third at 9-under par.
Rickie Fowler fired a scorching six-under on the front nine en route to a third round best 64, and is one of three Americans to charge within sight of a medal.
Fowler’s poor first two rounds have him six strokes back of Fraser, but Bubba Watson posted his second-straight 67 to move into a tie for fourth. He’s six back of the lead, and three shy of bronze.
Matt Kuchar shot 69, and is 5-under, while Patrick Reed is the lone American to continue rough play. Reed is shot a 73 and is 1-over, tied for 36th.
Australia’s Marcus Fraser followed up his first round 63 with a second round 69, and still leads the chase for gold at 10-under after two rounds of the Rio Olympics.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters is a stroke back, and Henrik Stenson is two back at 8-under. Six other golfers are within five strokes of the lead.
Matt Kuchar has made a little headway for the United States, which is struggling on the Olympic Golf Course. Kuchar shot 70 and is 3-under, tied for 14th.
Watson shot 67, making up for his 73 in the first round. He’s tied for 18th, one stroke ahead of Patrick Reed’s 1-under.
Rickie Fowler shot 71, and is in 50th and 4-over.