Top qualifier Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands held on to win gold in the men's horizontal bar final, while Americans Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton did not medal.
Both Zonderland and 2008 Beijing Games defending champion Zou Kai of China posted the highest difficulty scores on Tuesday at 7.900. However, Zonderland's execution tally was .167 higher, giving him the gold with a mark of 16.533.
Zonderland had posted a 15.966 score in qualifying, while Zou was .033 back.
"I dreamed about it for so long. This routine was a lot of risk. In training, it's different, you're relaxed," said Zonderland, who became his country's first Olympic medalist in artistic gymnastics since the 1928 Amsterdam games in which the women won team gold.
Zou finished with a bronze on Tuesday after a final score of 16.366, just behind Fabian Hambuchen. The German had the top execution score at 8.900, which helped him make up some of Zou's difficulty advantage to win silver thanks to a 16.400 tally.
Leyva, who took bronze earlier in the men's all-around, finished fifth with a score of 15.833, while teammate and Beijing silver medalist Jonathan Horton was sixth.