Tokyo Olympics: Xander Schauffele wins gold on dramatic closing day

Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele (left) received gold however there was a play-off to determine who took bronze
Dates: 23 July-Eight August Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Protection: Watch dwell on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Crimson Button and on-line; Hear on BBC Radio 5 Dwell, Sports activities Further and Sounds; dwell textual content and video clips on BBC Sport web site and app.

American Xander Schauffele clinched the Olympic males’s golf gold medal on a nail-biting closing day that ended with a seven-way play-off for the bronze medal.

CT Pan of Chinese language Taipei lastly claimed it on the fourth knockout gap, with Eire’s Rory McIlroy and Nice Britain’s Paul Casey eradicated earlier.

Schauffele’s in a single day lead was worn out on Sunday earlier than he birdied the 17th to win by one stroke on 18 beneath par at Kasumigaseki Nation Membership.

Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini closed with an Olympic file 10-under spherical of 61 to complete in silver at 17 beneath.

The drama continued as Pan pipped Open champion Collin Morikawa to bronze in a play-off that additionally included McIlroy, Casey, Japan’s Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, Chile’s Mito Pereira and Colombian Sebastian Munoz.

Schauffele led by one shot heading into the ultimate day and stretched that benefit to a few strokes with a birdie-birdie begin, including two extra earlier than the flip.

However a flying end from Sabbatini and a bogey for the American at 14 noticed his lead worn out as he approached the ultimate stretch.

Schauffele took a penalty drop on that gap after leaking a drive into the bushes after which caught a department on his downswing, escaping with simply the one dropped shot as he went on to finish a closing spherical of 67.

The 27-year-old spoke earlier than the Video games about how his father and swing coach, Stefan, was a former German decathlete whose personal ambitions of competing at an Olympics had been ended when he was left blind in a single eye after a automotive accident.

Schauffele responded to slipping right into a tie for the lead by making a birdie on the 17th to maneuver clear as soon as extra and appeared set to understand his father’s Olympic goals.

There was a nervy, errant drive on the ultimate gap however the world quantity 5 held his nerve to sink a gold medal-clinching par putt.

“I actually wished to win for my dad. I’m certain he’s crying someplace proper now. I sort of wished this yet another than another,” mentioned Schauffele, whose grandparents dwell in Tokyo.

“You are attempting to symbolize your nation to the perfect of your potential and then you definitely add household stuff on prime of that. I am in all probability going to have a pleasant name with my grandparents tonight.

“Everyone seems to be again dwelling watching. I used to be feeling the love from San Diego and Las Vegas this complete time. I am a bit speechless proper now, fairly truthfully.”

Essentially the most dramatic of finishes

A seven-way play-off is extraordinarily uncommon on the highest stage of golf and unprecedented to determine who finishes third.

However that’s the drama a scramble for medals gives and a shootout was mandatory with seven of the world’s finest tied at 15 beneath par after 4 rounds.

Britain’s Casey was the primary to drop out after failing to get well from a wayward drive, with dwelling favorite Matsuyama additionally falling on the first hurdle.

The 5 remaining hopefuls may then not be separated on the par-three 10th as all made par.

American Morikawa pitched his method on the 11th to inside two toes however Pan adopted him down for birdie.

World quantity 118 Pereira noticed his putt lip out and McIlroy additionally burned the sting of the cup, whereas Munoz bogeyed to depart simply two gamers in it.

The ultimate pair headed again to the 18th however when Morikawa discovered a bunker it opened up for Pan and the world quantity 208 made his par to take bronze.

‘Overwhelming satisfaction’

Justin Rose received gold for Britain in Rio 5 years in the past and Casey was in rivalry for a medal all week earlier than his hopes ended within the play-off.

“The overwhelming factor is satisfaction. Nice feelings, however frustration on the similar time,” mentioned Casey. “It is highlighted to us how a lot the Olympics means to everyone.”

GB team-mate Tommy Fleetwood posted a fourth successive under-par spherical of 70 that included an eagle, 4 birdies and 5 bogeys to complete tied 16th at 11 beneath.

Northern Irishman McIlroy, who was eligible to play for Staff GB however represented Eire at novice stage, was sceptical heading to Japan however loved his Olympic expertise.

“I’ve by no means tried so onerous in my life to complete third. It isn’t a place that I discover myself in fairly often,” he informed BBC Radio 5 Dwell.

“The good comfort is it isn’t going to be my final probability, I will be again in Paris in three years’ time and can give it my all.

“This is not simply one other golf match, it is a lot larger than that, and I did not realise that till I acquired right here.”

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