Posted by: Jennifer | Posted on: July 18th, 2016 | 0 Comments
In an astounding toe-to-toe slugfest on Royal Troon’s ancient ground, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson battled it out by the sea.
One hundred and fifty-six players began the British Open, and 81 played the weekend. There were 173,000 fans who passed through the gates at Royal Troon during the past week, and in the end, the spotlight illuminated just two men. There was no one in front, no one close behind, no one else in the frame. They were alone.
Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson played together on Saturday and then again on Sunday, and they were, quite simply, superior. Mickelson and Stenson were not so much in a different class from everyone else as they were in a completely different school district.
Mickelson made two birdies and an eagle in his first six holes on Sunday, made four bogeys in the entire tournament, shot 70-65 over his final two rounds and still — somehow — lost by three strokes as Stenson went 68-63 to finish at 20 under par.
When the curtain was drawn on the oldest major championship in golf, Stenson was three shots clear of Mickelson and holding the Claret Jug.
After finishing fourth or better in seven majors, Stenson won his first by joining Johnny Miller as the only players to shoot 63 in the final round to win a major. With 10 birdies, including four on the back nine to hold off Mickelson, who at 46 was trying to become the oldest winner of the Open since Old Tom Morrisback in the 19th century, Stenson finished at 20-under 264, the lowest total ever shot in a major and three shots clear of the lowest total in the Open.