TROON, Scotland (AP) — An epic duel at the British Open, with Henrik Stenson claiming his first major title.
Stenson shot an 8-under 63 on Sunday to beat Phil Mickelson by three strokes, becoming the first man from Sweden to win one of golf’s biggest events.
Mickelson, seeking his sixth major title at age 46, did all he could to capture the claret jug. But Stenson gained the upper hand by rolling in a 50-foot birdie putt from off the green at No. 15 to take a two-shot lead – the first time all day the final group had been separated by more than one stroke.
In a fitting touch after two days of foul weather, the sun broke through just as the final group was teeing off at No. 1. This head-to-head matchup will surely be remembered alongside the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in 1977.
Stenson finished at 20-under 264 overall, breaking both the Open scoring record of 267 set by Greg Norman at Royal St. George’s in 1993 and the major championship mark of 265 by David Toms at the 2001 PGA Championship.
Mickelson shot 65 for a 267 total.
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