Yesterday saw Henrik Stenson win The Open at Royal Troon, defeating Phil Mickelson in an exhilarating contest on the final day. It is the Dane’s first ever Major victory and he won it thanks to a record score, eventually finishing on -20 after four rounds.
The first day of The Open has been all about Phil Mickelson, as the American came so close to breaking a Major record when he carded -8. Once he’d laid down that king od marker, many thought that the tournament was all but over, and that Mickelson would go on to add yet another Major title to his collection. Stenson had other ideas though, and set about hauling back the American’s lead, culminating in the two going into the final round with Stenson holding a one shot advantage.
Stenson had saved his best golf for the final round though, as he went around the course in a record total for a final round at a Major. The difference between the two men came down to how well they played the final few holes, and Mickelson had no answers for Stenson’s four birdies in the final five, which propelled him to -20 for the tournament. This was one shot better than Tiger Woods’ total at The Open at St Andrews back in 2000.
Phil Mickelson also has to receive a special mention, as if it hadn’t been for him, there would have been no exciting finale to the tournament. His total of -17 would have been enough to win 140 of the 144 Open Championships ever played, however he was gracious in defeat, describing Stenson as “a great champion.” There’s no doubting that Mickelson will be back again, as he tries to win yet another Open Championship.
But what about the big players? Well, Rory McIlroy saved his best round for last and eventually finished on -4 for the tournament, which was enough to take joint fifth place, alongside Sergio Garcia and Tyrell Hatton. Jordan Spieth also performed well on the final day, however he’ll be disappointed to finish the tournament on +2. Jason Day finished on +1, while recently crowned US Open winner Dustin Johnson finished on -2.
The day undoubtedly belonged to Henrik Stenson though, a player many thought deserved a Major title for the many great performances he has put in over the years. Surely he’ll now be a member of the European Ryder Cup team, which travels to contest the famous trophy at the end of September?