South Korea's Inbee Park won the women's Olympic golf tournament in Rio, as Great Britain's Charley Hull finished just outside the medals.

Park shot a final-round 66 to finish on 16 under, five clear of world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand.

China's Shanshan Feng took bronze, a shot further back on 10 under par.

Hull carded a three-under-par round of 68 to finish tied for seventh on eight under as women's golf returned to the Games for the first time since 1900.

Catriona Matthew of Great Britain finished on level par, 29th overall.

Japan's Harukyo Nomura, American Stacy Lewis and South Korea's Hee Young Yang shared fourth place on nine under.

Park, a seven-time major winner, had not competed in top-level competition for two months and missed the past two majors on the LPGA Tour because of a thumb injury.

However, the 28-year-old took a two-shot lead into the final round and was six clear after a hat-trick of birdies from the third and another on the eighth, before Feng closed the gap with a birdie on the 10th.

Her advantage was reduced to three shots when Park bogeyed the 10th as Feng birdied the 11th in the group ahead.

But birdies on the 13th, 15th and 17th all but sealed victory - and saw the focus switch to the battle for silver and bronze, in which New Zealander Ko prevailed with a birdie on the 18th.

Britain's Hull was within a shot of the bronze-medal position after a birdie on the 11th, but three-putted the 13th and was unable to pick up any shots until a two-putt birdie on the last.

"I was quite happy with the way I finished," said the 20-year-old. "Especially on the back nine I gave myself plenty of opportunities, I just didn't hole them.

"I missed one short putt, which was a bit silly, but apart from that I feel like my game is in good shape.

"My first Olympics was a fantastic experience and I got a good buzz off it."

Team-mate Matthew, from Scotland, shot a final round of 70.

"Today I was never really in with a chance for a medal so it was just trying to play good golf and try something different with my putting to help that. It was nice to finish with a good round.

"It has been a great golf course for such a new course and it has played really well. It has been great being at the Olympics. I have loved it.

"Hopefully golf will stay in the Olympics and we'll get to watch it a few more times."

 

Quotes of the Day – Round 4

Inbee Park 268 (66, 66, 70, 66): Talking about how she rates Olympic champion:  “I think definitely at the top because you know, this is something I’ve never done before.  I’ve won majors, but I haven’t won a gold medal, so this feels definitely very, very special and nothing I want to change.  It’s a special week and special feeling, and I’m so honoured to represent my country.  Being able to receive the gold medal on the golf course was an unforgettable moment.”

Lydia Ko 273 (69, 70, 65, 69): Lydia Ko on other New Zealand athletes coming out to support her Sunday:  “That was one of the greatest things that I was really excited about this week was that I was able to meet other New Zealand athletes and see some that I had met before like Eric (Murray, gold medal rower).  We’ve done a sponsor thing before.  And to see him out here and come out and support me, I think has been amazing.  That’s been one of the greatest memories of this week is to see the other New Zealand athletes, see the New Zealand flag out there and them waving and shouting and supporting.  It’s been amazing.”

Shanshan Feng 274 (70, 67, 68, 69): “Well, of course, China is a very strong country in the Olympics, and we’ve made so many gold, silver, bronze medals.  So my bronze medal maybe doesn’t mean that much for the whole number, but to myself it means a lot, because this is golf back in the Olympics after over a hundred years, and I believe it’s the first time that a Chinese athlete is competing in this event.”

Charley Hull 276 (68, 66, 74, 68): “My first Olympics was a fantastic experience and I got a good buzz off it. I thought it was great. I felt happy with my performance but it’s a shame I couldn’t come away with a medal.”

Gerina Piller 278 (69, 67, 68, 74): “The crowds were awesome today. I didn’t know what to expect. There are a lot of people that come to the Olympics that don’t really know much about golf.  It was pretty impressive that all the people came out.”

Maria Verchenova 280 (75, 70, 73, 62): “I think the whole thing is just me being here and playing here, it means a lot, because that’s going to push Russian golf forward, and that’s what we need, because Russian golf is kind of steady now; it needs to be pushed forward.”

Lexi Thompson 281 (68, 71, 76, 66): “I’ve had more messages and more texts from people that don’t really watch golf.  My parents have gotten messages from people that they haven’t heard from in years, and they are watching golf just because it’s part of the Olympics. I hope this made a mark for us, and hopefully, we’ll be in the Olympics for years to come.”

Leona Maguire  282 (74, 65, 74, 69): “It’s been a fantastic week.  Obviously going to some of the sport events at the start of the week was great.  Got to see Michael Phelps’ last race and then being able to be in the first group here is something I’ll never forget on the first morning. And obviously this has been streamed all around the world, so I think it’s great for ladies golf in general.”

Aditi Ashok 291 (68, 68, 79, 76): “My Facebook page and Twitter has been going off quite a lot.  I’m happy that a lot of people who didn’t really watch golf are watching golf now (in India).  It’s only going to get better from here.”

Miriam Nagl 298 (79, 77, 72, 70): “I think it’s obviously making a huge difference that the Brazilians are coming out and supporting as much as they did this week and last week. I hope it’s going to make a difference. I think it’s a big step to make it big in Brazil.”

Victoria Lovelady 300 (79, 75, 76, 70): “The whole experience was amazing – arriving here, going to the village, going to the Opening Ceremony, seeing my dad in the Opening Ceremony by coincidence, crying with him, singing the anthem, walking through the village with all the athletes, seeing Bolt, taking a selfie with Bolt, seeing Nadal. Everything was amazing.”

 

To find a full list of player transcripts from the Olympic Games golf competition click here

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