American Xander Schauffele reclaims lead late to capture gold in men’s golf

Right when it looked as though Xander Schauffele had lost his grip on an Olympic gold medal, he delivered two clutch putts Sunday for a one-shot victory in the men’s golf competition.

Schauffele made a 6-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole to take the lead, and then made a 4-foot par putt on the final hole for a 4-under 67.

Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia set the men’s Olympic record with a 61 and won the silver.¬†Taiwan’s CT Pan won a seven-man playoff to earn bronze.

Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, hoping to add a gold medal to go with his Masters green jacket, missed too many putts down the stretch and finished two shots behind. He was still in the running for a bronze medal.

The competition at Kasumigaseki Country Club was so tense that on the final hole, nine players were still in the running for all three medals. Matsuyama was part of a seven-man playoff for the bronze, a group that included Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa.

Canada’s Corey Conners fired a 6-under 65 round on Sunday to finish 13th at the Tokyo Olympics.

The Canadian had four birdies apiece on the front and back nine, but also had a disappointing bogey in each.

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“I would have liked to have got a few more birdies to fall on the front nine,” said Conners, who added that the ninth hole was a highlight as he hit a four-iron out of a fairway bunker to within 12 feet of the pin.

“I was able to convert that for birdie and it gave me some good mojo for the back nine.”

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 4-over 75 round to drop 33 spots on the leaderboard to 50th.

“It sucked. I sucked like the whole day and, yeah, super disappointing,” Hughes said. “That’s all I can really say about it.”

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