Henrik Stenson said he had a feeling he would finally win his first major after seeing off Phil Mickelson in a thrilling climax at The Open Championship on Sunday.
“It’s not something you want to run around and shout, but I felt like this was going to be my turn,” said the Swede, whose Open record score of 20-under at Royal Troon gave him a three-stroke winning margin over Mickelson. “I knew I was going to have to battle back if it wasn’t, but I think that was the extra self-belief that made me go all the way this week.”
New world No. 5 Stenson had started the day on 12-under, a shot clear of Mickelson, but dropped a stroke at the first to lose his lead.
However, the Swede promptly fought back with a remarkable 10 birdies en route to a major championship record-equaling round of 63 to seal the deal in style.
Mickelson had scored a 63 himself in the opening round on Thursday last week.
“I’m very proud of the way I played. It was a great match with Phil. It seemed like it was going to be a two-horse race and it was all the way to the end,” Stenson said. “I knew he wasn’t going to back down at any point and in a way that makes it easier for myself.”
The two were neck-and-neck on the back nine after Stenson missed a par putt at the dangerous 11th hole, but he made the difference with a stunning run of three straight birdies from the 14th.
Meanwhile, Mickelson just failed to convert an eagle putt at 16, effectively killing his chances.
“Phil missed his eagle putt, so it looked like it was going to go in, and I expect him to make every putt, you have to,” Stenson said.
With the rest of the field nowhere to be seen, it was an epic two-way shootout that evoked memories of the “Duel in the Sun” between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977. Just like Watson then, Stenson came out on top on Scotland’s west coast, but both players produced world-class golf.
“We managed to pull away from the rest of the field and we both played some great golf,” added the winner, who had the Claret Jug alongside him as he spoke to the media. “It makes it even more special to beat a competitor like Phil. He’s been one of the best to play the game, and certainly in the last 20 years. So to come out on top after such a fight with him over these four days, it makes it even more special.”
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly