USA’s Xander Schauffele, so often golf's nearly man, secured a brilliant Olympics gold medal after four days of low-scoring at Tokyo 2020.
The American has finished in the top ten at a major on nine occasions without victory but triumphed at Kasumigaseki Country Club after a thrilling final round, finishing -18.
Slovakia's Rory Sabbatini secured a surprise silver medal after a quite magnificent 61 saw him finish one shot behind.
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The bronze medal was decided in an unprecedented and high-calibre seven-person play-off, with CT Pan of Chinese Taipei eventually prevailing over Open champion Collin Morikawa after four extra holes.
Schauffele looked comfortable in pole position for the majority of the day’s play, saving par on the 15th hole following a wayward tee shot that ended up in the woods to keep himself in the running for gold.
With two holes left to play, Schauffele was tied in first position with Slovakia’s Rory Sabbatini on -17, whilst seven players were joint in a tie for bronze, including Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey andHideki Matsuyama on -15.
Schauffele took the lead after a birdie on the 17th, as a three-ball made up of the American, Japan’s Matsuyama and Team GB’s Paul Casey headed for the 18th, the last players on the course.
On a gripping final hole, Casey and Matsuyama found the bunker off their tee shot whilst Schauffele skewed his effort wide to the right once more.
Matsuyama found the green superbly out of the bunker, as Casey followed-up with an effort not too dissimilar.
Schauffele wouldn’t go away despite his poor tee shot. He found his way out of the rough well and managed an outstanding shot from the fairway to within a few yards of the pin.
With his last shot of the competition, Matsuyama failed to sink his putt to earn bronze medal, which set-up an exciting play-off for third place.
Schauffele eventually putted out for gold, as Sabbatini’s status as a silver medallist was confirmed.
McIlroy, Casey and Matsuyama headlined the seven-person field for the play-off, along with the in-form Morikawa.

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CT Pan of Chinese Taipei, Sebastian Munoz of Colombia and Chile's Mito Pereira also finished three shots back from Schauffele.
The battle for bronze was contested over holes 18, 10 and 11.
The first four golfers to play on 18 all came home with pars, but Casey and McIlroy were in trouble of the tee, finding the trees and a fairway bunker respectively.
Casey scrambled his ball back on to the fairway and McIlroy was also forced to lay-up from the sand. Each found the green with their third stroke.
Meanwhile Matsuyama had appeared in prime position to push for a popular home medal but misjudged his approach, embedding his ball in a bunker.
Great Britain's Casey could not salvage a par, seeing his putt slide past the hole.
Mastuyama also slipped out of contention, sending his devilish bunker shot some way past the pin and missing the putt back the other way.
McIlroy, however, managed to save his par and remain in the race.

USA's Xander Schauffele celebrates after winning the gold medal in round 4 of the mens golf individual stroke play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe on August 1, 2021.

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The 10th proved of little consequence - all five players held their nerve to par the par-three and move on to the 11th.
Just as he had at the Open last month, Morikawa produced a dazzling iron to within a matter of inches on the last scheduled play-off hole.
Yet CT Pan answered with a perfect approach of his own, and Pereira and McIlroy produced superb shots on to the green, too.
With Sebastian Munoz eliminated after missing his putt, Pereira drew gasps as his putt faded at the last to knock him out of medal contention.
There was further surprise as a tentative McIlroy failed with his attempt from ten-feet, his ball also rolling to the right of the hole.
Pan and Morikawa were thus left alone for a final duel, starting again on the 18th.
The American found the thin rough on the right-hand side of the fairway after Pan had pulled his tee shot into the thicker stuff on the left.
However Morikawa underweighted his iron towards the green, his ball plugging deep in a front bunker with a nasty lip.
Pan's approach was safer, dragging his shot out to the left to leave himself an up-and-down for a par.
Morikawa miraculously extricated himself from the sand, chopping down on the ball to lift it out.

C.T. Pan of Team Chinese Taipei with caddie Yingchung Lin on the 17th green during the final round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club on August 01, 2021 in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan

Image credit: Getty Images

Two putts left him with a bogey five.
But Pan holed a lovely par putt to secure a marathon play-off victory and his nation's eighth medal of Tokyo 2020.
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