Henrik breaks major duck
Henrik Stenson broke his major duck in style to take the claret jug at the weekend.
Stenson, 40, posted a day’s best score and record-equalling major low score of 63 to fend off the challenge of Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon. After a bogey at the first, onlookers could be forgiven for thinking Stenson may have found it difficult to overcome the experience of Mickelson on a major Sunday, however he quickly reeled off 3 consecutive birdies which saw the pair break off from the chasing pack.
With the wind dropping on the tougher back nine, both Stenson and Mickelson made further progress, until Stenson forged ahead with another trio of consecutive birdies from the 14th. Yet another birdie at 18, his 25th of the week, saw Stenson clinch his first major triumph and a 3 shot victory.
At times it looked as though Stenson and Mickelson were playing a different course to the rest. The nearest challenger to the pair, JB Holmes, finished a distant 11 strokes behind second-placed Mickelson. Already comparisons have been drawn with great major duels of the past, including the 1977 ‘duel in the sun’ between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson at Turnberry.
With the win Stenson has propelled himself back into the world’s top 5 and has all but confirmed his place on this year’s European Ryder Cup team. His 20 under par score is the lowest ever 72 hole total in Open Championship history and he is the first Swedish player to ever win a major title. Congratulations Henrik!