Since last seasons PGA Championship, the last 4 major winners had never won a major. This trend continued this weekend at the British Open. Going into Sunday, Henrik Stenson led Phil Mickelson by 1 shot. These two players lead the rest of the field by 6 strokes.
On Sunday, the two players exchanged the lead multiple times and remained within a shot of each other until the middle of the back nine. Stenson hit masterful shot after masterful shot on Sunday. His only faults came on the putting surface with 3-putt bogeys on the first and 11th holes.
Mickelson refused to go away easy and stayed with the Swede until the 14th hole. At this point, Stenson began a string of 3 straight birdies to gain a 2-shot advantage over lefty. Phil barley missed a long eagle putt on the par 5 16th to get within a stroke. With the miss, Phil’s run at a second Claret Jug was all but lost.
On 18, Henrik Stenson lipped in a 25-foot birdie putt to become the Champion Golfer of the World. Stenson had just won golf’s oldest major in record fashion. He shot a final round 63, which matched Johnny Millar’s major record for lowest final round in a major championship. Also, with a final stroke total of 264, Henrik Stenson set the new record for lowest score at a major championship.
Stenson won his first major championship, and it could not have happened to a better guy. At 40 years old, Stenson will only be leaving his prime from this point forward. He was able to get out of the discussion for best players to never win a major. Henrik Stenson was also able to become Sweden’s first male major winner.
As they say at The Open, Well Done Henrik, see you next year at Royal Birkdale.