Henrik Stenson has won the 145th Open at Royal Troon.
The Swedish player produced one of the most exciting final rounds in Open history with a hard fought battle between him and Phil Mickelson, who has lead throughout the tournament.
The crowds at Royal Troon were treated to a masterclass of golf by the leading pair that revived memories of the “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus a few miles up the Ayrshire coast at Turnberry in 1977, and it was Stenson who prevailed as a major record-equalling 63 gave him a three-shot victory on 20 under par a new record for golf’s oldest major.
Mickelson’s stellar 65 would have been more than enough to lift the Claret Jug on most occasions, but he could not quite keep pace with the Swede as he birdied four of the final five holes to settle an tense battle.
“I felt like it was my time,” said the 40-year-old, who admitted that the confidence boosting win at the BMW International Open in June played a huge part in his turnaround of fortunes.
“I think the win in Germany I had a couple weeks ago was huge to get one over the finish line.
“You feel the pressure coming in and with not having won for a while, that always kind of builds up. It was great to get that win there. That definitely helped this week, and I felt that extra confidence was going to be huge for me coming into this week. I just played some great golf. For some reason, I felt like this is my time, and it was.
“It’s a dream come true. The Ryder Cup and the Open Championship were the big early memories I had so to sit here with this trophy is pretty amazing.”