6-4 loss in the last four of the low-key year-ending exhibition tournament, a result which will hardly worry Murray, who ends the year at world No 1 having won at Wimbledon, the Olympics and ATP World Tour Finals.
The only excitement was the result of 3-3 when Gohan had two break points, but Murray saved them both, eventually winning this gem.
The fit-again Spaniard, who recently employed Raonic's former coach Carlos Moya, raised his game in the deciding set after being pegged back in the second to down the world number three.
World number one Andy Murray prevailed in the third-place play-off against Milos Raonic, his 10th successive triumph over the Canadian and eighth of 2016.
He led 5-3 in the second but Raonic staged a mini fightback before Murray took the tie-break.
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After the match, Murray was disappointed but optimistic: "I was striking the ball well". You're practicing and playing matches against some of the best players in the world.
The Scot said: "It was good to finish the year with a win. It sharpens you up and I'm happy to be back". I think that was the key to staying in the match, particularly against Andy with the way he returns the ball.
"Three matches, three wins - against three top players - is very positive news for me".
Rafael Nadal's last Grand Slam title was the French Open in 2014.