RIO DE JANEIRO -- From the top step of the podium, Justin Rose bowed his head as the Olympic gold medal was placed around his neck, and he stared at it for the longest time.Even for a major champion, this was more than he ever imagined.Its a moment youve seen in many other sports, Rose said. The medal ceremony is what its all about, really.This was why the 36-year-old Englishman circled the Rio Games on his calendar all along, even as some of the biggest names in golf began pulling out. Rose came to Rio to watch, and to win.And when his turn came Sunday, he delivered a gold-medal performance worthy of a 112-year wait.The final round was so tense that no one led by more than one shot until Rose hit a 40-yard pitch to 3 feet, a shot every bit as significant as the 4-iron from 229 yards on the 18th hole at Merion when he won the 2013 U.S. Open.The birdie gave him a 4-under 67 and a two-shot victory over Henrik Stenson to win golfs first gold medal since 1904 in St. Louis.Matt Kuchar of the United States closed with a 63 to win the bronze.How big was golf in the Olympics?Ive never been so happy with a third-place finish in my life, Kuchar said.And then there was Rose.As the final putt fell into the cup, he thrust his fist into the air and popped the British crest on his shirt before turning to embrace Stenson. He raised both arms, pumped his fist again and took a bow.The reality is incredible. The reality hasnt sunk in, Rose said. The whole week, Ive been so focused. Ive been so into it. Ive been up for it. Ive been just so determined, I suppose, to represent Team GB as best as I could. And it was just the most magical week.Stenson already faced one duel this summer at Royal Troon to win the British Open with the lowest score in major championship history. Deep in the round, the Swede said his spine locked up on him. He was stretching on all fours on the 13th and a physiotherapist worked on him at the 14th, where a poor chip cost him the lead. Stenson kept firing away, however, tying Rose with a pitch to 4 feet for birdie on the 16th.They were tied coming to the final hole, fans lining both sides of the fairway, exactly the moment and atmosphere golf needed to make a good impression on the International Olympic Committee.Stensons pitch from 50 yards came up short, just over 20 feet away, and then Rose delivered what amounted to the winner. Knowing that Rose was in tight for birdie, Stenson rammed his birdie putt some 7 feet by the cup and missed the par putt, giving him a 3-under 68.He made a birdie and I didnt, and thats why hes got a gold medal and I got a silver, Stenson said.Its not nearly as valuable as his silver claret jug from Royal Troon, but still special.We said that all along in the Olympics, youve got some pretty good consolation prizes, Stenson said.Rose is the first gold medalist in golf since George Lyon of Canada won against a field of mostly Americans.Golf organizations lobbied hard to get the sport back into the Olympics, only for some of the biggest stars -- including the top four in the world -- to withdraw in the month leading up to the Rio Games for reasons that ranged from fears over the Zika virus to security.Padraig Harrington referred to them as sheep for following each other out of Olympics. The 60 players who came, dressed in their country colors and team bags -- and three medals at the end of the week -- showed what the absentees were missing.This is one of the greatest golf trips Ive ever been on, said Bubba Watson, who had planned to stay in private housing until moving into the Olympic Village on Tuesday because he didnt want to miss out on the experience.Even better was seeing a teammate make his way to the medal stand.Were asked to play for our country and he pulled us through today, Watson said. Im so proud he got the bronze.The lasting memory of golfs return was Rose and Stenson going toe-to-toe for more than five hours before a sellout crowd (capped at 12,000 tickets), neither with more than a one-stroke advantage until it was over. And there was Rose at the end, wildly pumping fists as British fans waved the Union Jack around the 18th green.He won the U.S. Open at Merion three years ago. Rose said he always wanted his career to be remembered for multiple majors.But lets just call it major champion and Olympic gold medalist, Rose said. Id be a very, very happy man. Josh Harrison Jersey . General manager Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch on Friday that he wants to see Gaboriks contributions go beyond the scoresheet before considering a long-term deal for the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent. Kent Tekulve Jersey . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. http://www.piratesrookiestore.com/Pirates-Corey-Dickerson-Kids-Jersey/ . -- Brandon Jennings made the most of his first game with the Detroit Pistons on Sunday night. Austin Meadows Jersey . -- On the field, it was business as usual for Jameis Winston and No. Jung-ho Kang Jersey . But the quarterback hopes to stay involved in football after officially calling it quits Tuesday. "Id love to look at those opportunities as they arise," Pierce said in an interview from his Winnipeg eatery. With his teams season already in a dangerous downhill spiral, coach Dave Joerger is ready to make changes designed to get the Sacramento Kings steadily flying again.Hell see if they have any effect Sunday when Sacramento welcomes the Toronto Raptors, one of the few teams theyve beaten this season.A new starting lineup is expected on the floor for the Kings at Golden 1 Center. Joerger pointed to the switch Friday after the Kings (4-9) lost their fourth straight contest, a 121-115 decision to the Los Angeles Clippers that wasnt all that close. Sacramento trailed by as many as 26 points in the first half and 20 early in the fourth quarter.Ive seen enough. Joerger said after it was over. Were going to small.The Kings small lineup, featuring Ty Lawson and Darren Collision on the court at the same time as dual two point guards, nearly stole a win against the Clippers. They spurred a 29-11 blitz in the final quarter that put Sacramento only two down with two minutes to left.Forwards DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Matt Barnes and guard Aaron Afflalo also were out on the floor as part of the small lineups the Kings used to make their run.DeMarcus is going to play center, Joerger said. I dont know who else will play with him. It just gives us more zip, more life, more experience. Thats not a detriment to anyone else of what theyve done.It does appear to be a reaction to the slow starts that have plagued the Kings during their longest losing streak since a five-game skid in March. The Kings allowed 40 points in the opening 12 minutes against Los Angeles, their worst defensive quarter of the season, and were down 16-6 almost immediately in a 110-105 loss Wednesday against San Antonio.I dont think were coming out with uurgency, Cousins said after the loss to the Clippers.ddddddddddddOnce again, were waiting until the last minute to play with energy, a sense of urgency. ... If we dont play with urgency and energy at the beginning of the game, it wont matter what lineup we put out there.The Kings have used Cousins, Gay, Lawson, Afflalo and Kosta Koufos in the starting lineup in 11 of their 13 games, including in all four victories. But the presence of Cousins and Koufos in the middle has crowded the key and kept Lawson and Collison from having a lot of success driving the ball and kicking out.Koufos didnt play in the second half against the Clippers, and Lawson and Collison played with a faster pace.Toronto (7-5) also would prefer to get moving quickly and give its guards a chance to score. DeMar DeRozan, the NBAs leading scorer at 33 points per game, and Kyle Lowry (18.8 points, 7.3 assists) usually get Torontos offense started with drives to the key, and the Raptors are 5-2 when they combine for at least 50 points.DeRozan tallied 30 in Torontos 113-111 overtime victory in Denver on Friday, the 10th time in 12 contests he scored at least that many.Ive had a lot of help, DeRozan told reporters after the win. People have looked for me within the offense. Tonight it was JV (center Jonas Valanciunas) setting screens for me. When the defense packed it in on him, he got me the ball for shots.The Kings havent won since beating the Raptors 96-91 in Toronto on Nov. 6, and have defeated them three straight times. Gay had 23 against his former team in the first meeting. DeRozan scored only 23 in that one. ' ' '