The Englishman says that he doesn't hear about the US Open anymore from fans or media after his Olympic Gold

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Justin Rose: Olympic Gold Bigger Than US Open

Justin Rose says that winning the Olympic Gold medal in Rio 2016 was “the biggest gift of my career” and that he never hears about his US Open victory from fans or media.

The Englishman was one of a few big names to play the Games in 2016 after many of the world’s best pulled out due to zika virus and scheduling fears.

The likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and then-World No.1 Jason Day pulled out as well as Adam Scott, Shane Lowry, Graeme McDowell, Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman amongst others.

However, Rose opted to play and he pipped close friend and recently-crowned Open Champion Henrik Stenson to the Gold Medal in a thrilling final day.

Three years on and former World No.1 Rose, who won his maiden Major at the 2013 US Open, cannot talk highly enough of his week in Brazil, now realising “how important it was”.

“My feeling is that it’s been the biggest gift of my career,” Rose said ahead of this week’s Italian Open in Rome.

“I was definitely a supporter of it. For me, the opportunity to represent my country is always something that I regard very highly, and that’s for me what the Olympics represented was to go to Rio to be a part of Team GB, to stay in the Olympic Village, to meet all the other great athletes, and just to say that I’m an Olympian.

“Didn’t really relate to golf at the time but I thought, this is an amazing opportunity.

“I think since winning it, I realise how important it is and how important it was.

“Literally every week I play golf, I hear something about the Gold Medal from crowd or from media or from somebody.

“I don’t hear about the US Open now. I hear only about Gold Medal.

“So it’s been very important to the golfing public, and I think because of that, other players have realised that it is an important event, and I think this year, or next year in Tokyo, golf is going to be very well represented.

“I think like tennis, it took a Games or two for all the top players to really understand how important it was, but I think it’s going to be something that in a career, everyone is going to want to experience.

“You know, in golf, it only happens once every four years. Sometimes a major championship, you have another one, especially now, you have another one in a couple of weeks, and then in another couple of weeks, and then in another couple of weeks. In the Olympics, you have to wait four years.

“I think it’s going to be very important and I feel very lucky that I was able to achieve what I did in Rio.

“Yeah, it lives with me, still, every week that I play because I hear so much about it.”

Next year’s Games take place in Tokyo at Kasumigaseki Golf Club and all of the biggest names are expected to play.

Rory McIlroy has already committed to the Irish team and Tiger Woods has also stated his intention to play.

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