HOOK golfer Justin Rose has been denied an opportunity to defend his Olympic gold medal after he was not selected in the Great Britain squad for this month's Tokyo games.

The South African-born, Hampshire-raised player won the first men's Olympic golfing gold since 1904 in Rio de Janeiro five years ago.

However, when Team GB announced their squad for the games, which gets underway on July 23, the 40-year-old was not picked.

Instead Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood were preferred, and they join Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Mel Reid.

But it turns out Fleetwood, runner-up at the 2019 Open championship, was convinced to take up an Olympic spot after speaking to Rose.

Several high-profile names have turned down playing at the Tokyo games, including Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood.

“What came from that was the surprise of how proud Justin was and the emotions he felt from winning,” Fleetwood said to The Guardian.

“He spoke to me about it a lot. I just think it was really cool like seeing his face light up and hearing him talk about how he felt about not only competing in Olympics but being an Olympic gold medallist.

"It was very, very cool seeing him and watching him talk about it.”

Team GB Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Mark England said: “It is great to welcome golf back to Team GB following a successful re-introduction to the Olympic programme in Rio.

"In Paul, Tommy, Mel and Jodi we have four fantastic ambassadors for their sport and the Olympic movement and I am sure they will embrace the Olympic Games and environment as we saw Justin Rose and the team do five years ago in Rio.

“I look forward to watching them all compete in Tokyo in just a few weeks’ time.”

The Olympic golf competition consists of 72-hole individual stroke play for both men and women.

Casey and Fleetwood will compete in the men’s event from July 29 to August 1, with Ewart Shadoff and Reid in action in the women’s event from August 4 - August 7.