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Justin Rose brings Olympic gold to Bethpage Black and The Barclays

Justin Rose of Great Britain celebrates with the

Justin Rose of Great Britain celebrates with the gold medal after winning in the final round of men's golf on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Golf Course on Aug. 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Credit: Getty Images South America / Ross Kinnaird

Britain’s Justin Rose said Tuesday his son Leo has worn the Olympic gold medal most of the time since he returned from Rio to his home in London.

But, Rose added that the medal accompanied him to Long Island for The Barclays playoff event this week at Bethpage Black.

“Everyone wants to feel the weight of it,” Rose said. “That’s what’s curious about it. Everyone wants to see, ‘Oh, how heavy is it?’ That’s been the reaction: ‘Oh, it’s heavy, isn’t it?’ That’s the unique thing about a medal versus a trophy.”

The most famous trophy in golf is the Claret Jug, which is awarded for the British Open, and there are many famous stories about how various winners have used it.

“You can drink out of the Claret Jug,” said Rose, who has yet to win it. “I guess the Olympic gold would be a nice coaster for the glass of wine.”

New York’s Wagner confident of his game

Johnson Wagner is coming off solid fifth-place ties in his past two PGA Tour events, so he is confident that his game is in shape to contend this week during the Barclays at Bethpage Black. It was not all that long ago when his goal at the Black was to get that No. 1 overnight parking spot.

Wagner, 36, who grew up in Garrison, N.Y., was one of those devotees who would sleep in his car to get an early tee time. He figures he did it six or seven times, first in a 1987 Saab, then his brother’s later-model Honda Civic. Sometimes he and the rest of his group wouldn’t sleep at all. “We’d play cards,” he said. Or occasionally, they would leave one car in the lot and drive down to Atlantic City. “For some reason, we thought that was close,” he said. “Whatever. We’d do whatever to play the Black.”

He still is just as enthusiastic, having won the 2001 Met Open as an amateur on the Black then gone on to win three tournaments and more than $10 million on tour.

“Every time I set foot on the Black it just screams `U.S. Open,’ it screams major championship. It’s such a classic golf course. It’s the epitome of New York golf, for me,” he said. “Standing on the tee on No. 4, the par 5 — the fairway bunker, the cross bunker short of the green — I just think it’s one of the sexiest holes I’ve ever seen. If I’m ever fortunate enough to design a golf course, it would have a lot of similarity.”


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