RIO DE JANEIRO — On paper, Justin Rose will stand atop a podium on the Rio Olympic course’s 18th green. He will be serenaded with an orchestral rendition of Britain’s “God Save The Queen” at about 4:30 pm local time, a gold medal around his neck as Henrik Stenson (silver) and Marcus Fraser (bronze) look on.
Not that golf tournaments can ever be counted on to play true to form, but the Olympic golf leader board is topped by two of the world’s best players, each with a major in his arsenal and a benign weather forecast calling for temperatures in the low-to-mid 80s, with winds not expected to play a significant role as they did in the first and third rounds.
Should Rose (12 under) and Stenson (11 under) tie, they will head back to the 18th hole for a sudden death playoff which would continue on a loop including the first and 17th holes until someone wins.
If Marcus Fraser (-9) should tie with Bubba Watson, who enters the final round three behind, they would start within 30 seconds to 1 minute of a gold medal playoff and should they tie, continue on to 17 and 18 until the low score prevails.
Only one gold, silver and bronze will be handed out. There are no ties in Olympic golf. Other players in the bronze chase besides Watson are David Lingmerth (six under), Emiliano Grillo (six) and should one of the players at five under go very low, Mikko Ilonen, Padraig Harrington, Matt Kuchar, Gregory Bourdy and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
One other reminder for the final round: play starts 30 minutes earlier at 7 am, with the leaders going off the first tee at 10:39 am local time.