Fourth round of 2016 British Open at a glance


Henrik Stenson's record-breaking British Open triumph was all the more memorable because he achieved it by outplaying the great Phil Mickelson, the Swede said on Sunday.

Stenson became the first Swedish man to win a Major title and did it after an epic duel with American Mickelson, who finished on 18 under after shooting 65.

He kept hitting the best shots of his life, one after another, and he needed each one to stay ahead of Phil Mickelson in a British Open duel that ranked among the best in major championship history.

"I was fortunate to watch every second of today's final round of the Open Championship, and I thought it was fantastic", said Nicklaus on his Facebook page.

This quasi-match play scenario began taking shape in the third round with neither of the duo being separated by more than two strokes over 40 holes. He drove the ball well; his iron game was great; his short game was wonderful; and his putting was great.

The legendary Jack Nicklaus rated Henrik Stenson's Open masterclass as "simply terrific" and was also full of praise for Phil Mickelson.

Stenson now moves up to fifth in the world after his win at Troon, his maiden Major championship win after years of near misses - and he becomes Sweden's first Major victor.

The American said: "It's disappointing to come in second but I'm happy for Henrik".

A performance, according to the Golden Bear, bests his joust with Tom Watson.

"It's probably the best I've played and not won".

I was not lucky enough to be around when Johnny Miller won the US Open that day, so it's hard to know if his 63 was "better" than Stenson's. Phil was superb, but Henrik was even better.

As the wind died down and the sun made a rare appearance, Stenson delivered the coup de grace with a hat-trick of birdies at the 14th, 15th and 16th giving him a two-shot advantage with two holes to play.

He said: "It certainly crossed my mind a little bit out there today, that match when Jack and Tom went head-to-head there in '77".

Watson needed a final-round 65 to hold off Nicklaus, who shot a 66, and win the tournament by a stroke.

That battle in the final round of the 1977 British Open at Turnberry has been talked about on a yearly basis over the last almost 40 years. "I don't know what game those other guys were playing".

Jesper Parnevik was the last top player to come out of the Scandinavian country prior to Stenson but his bogey at the last at Turnberry on the final day in 1994 cost him glory and he blew the lead on the Sunday at Troon three years later.

That victory gave Stenson the confidence to believe the Open was "his turn" to win a major after seven previous top-four finishes, although he was careful not to make such a statement in public.



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