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Sunday, 14 August 2016
Justin Rose  (Getty Images)
Justin Rose (Getty Images)

Justin Rose maintained his slender lead over Henrik Stenson as the first Olympic Men's Golf Competition for 112 years was set for a thrilling conclusion.

The Briton came into the final day with a one-shot lead over Stenson and he maintained that gap while getting to 15 under as both men reached the turn in 32.

Matt Kuchar was then keeping the duo on their toes at 11 under after picking up six shots in the first 11 holes of his final round to sit in the bronze medal position.

For Swede Stenson, the duel may have been bringing back memories of last month, when he held off Phil Mickelson in a sensational last-day tussle to win The Open Championship.

Rose and Stenson were attempting to add yet another honour to their glittering CVs with both having won a Major Championship, the Harry Vardon Trophy and been part of victorious European Ryder Cup teams - winning three points out of three as a pair at Gleneagles in 2014.

The leading duo made an ominous start as Stenson got on the green at the par five first in two and Rose put his pitch to three feet, resulting in a pair of opening birdies.

Stenson has been holing some long putts this week - including a 108-foot effort in round two - and while he and Rose both made the front of the second green, it was the 40 year old who rolled in a 40-footer to take a share of the lead.

That did not last long, however, as Rose put his approach on the next to six feet to make a second birdie of the day.

Both Stenson and Rose took advantage of the par five fifth and while the former left himself less than ten feet on both the sixth and seventh, he could not find a birdie.

He did find himself in a share of the lead, though, as Rose put his second on the seventh over the green and dropped a shot.

The 2013 US Open champion then responded in brilliant fashion, putting his tee-shot on the eighth to six feet and getting himself back to 15 under.

Kuchar was making a brilliant charge through the field as he looked to claim a medal for the United States. America had four players in the field, two more than any other nation, and Kuchar made birdies on the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth to get into the mix for bronze.

A second shot to 14 feet on the tenth then set up an eagle and, after an impressive par save from the bunker on the 11th, he was just four shots behind the leader.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello was still very much in the mix for a medal at nine under after 11 holes, a shot clear of Belgium's Thomas Pieters and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

Australia's Marcus Fraser, Spaniard Sergio Garcia, Swede David Lingmerth and American Bubba Watson were then at seven under.

Watson's team-mate Patrick Reed fired the low round of the day so far with a 64 to set the clubhouse target at six under.

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