Rose won golf’s return to the Olympics two weeks ago in Rio, and he has been traveling with the prize ever since. After lagging his birdie putt to 7 inches, Rose had his caddie Mark Fulcher slip it around his neck before tapping in to finish the week at even par.
Rose played the last two rounds at Bethpage Black alongside fan favorite Phil Mickelson, and according to Rose the idea for the move came from Mickelson’s caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.
“Well, Bones told me to do it on 17,” Rose said. “He said, ‘Dude, if you’ve got a 1-footer, slip it on your neck. People are going to love it.’ He said, ‘People don’t get the chance to see a gold medal very often at all.”
The stunt drew a big cheer from the gallery surrounding the final green, and it was a move that drew the full support of Rose’s playing partner.
“You’ve got to do it. You have to do it,” Mickelson said. “What’s the whole point of winning the gold medal? You’ve got to flaunt it, right?”
Rose wasn’t quite as convinced, but he eventually saw it as a way to thank the area fans that came out to see his first competitive start since leaving the podium in Rio.
“I didn’t really necessarily want to do it, but everyone was so great to me this week, and so supportive and everyone was really excited about it that I thought, ‘You know what, let’s give people a glimpse of it,’” he said. “It’s an iconic little thing, and obviously I’ve been fortunate to have it fall into my possession. It’s kind of a nice thing to share with people.”
Fans at next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, however, shouldn’t expect a similar stunt.
“Nah,” Rose said. “It’s a one-and-done.”