Open Championship

2016 Open Championship: 4 talking points

2016-07-18 13:19
Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Hendrik Stenson claimed his first major victory in a thrilling final round of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon, finishing at 20-under 264 on Sunday.

Here are some talking points and highlights from the 145th Open Championship:

1. Stenson’s historic win

It’s been a long time coming for the 40-year-old Swedish golfer, but he finally clinched his first major on Sunday in a nail-biting toe-to-toe contest with Phil Mickelson to become the first Scandinavian man to win a major.

His 20-under-par total of 264 was a record low at the Open at Royal Troon thumping past Justin Leonard’s 12-under-par win in 1997.

Stenson’s final-round 63 ties with Mickelson (who achieved this feat on day one at the Open) for the lowest score ever shot in a major. The Swede golfer is the first player to ever score 63 in the final round of the Open and he's 20-under ties with Australian Jason Day's record for score relative to par at a major.

2. Greatest duel - Stenson v Mickelson

It was the 2013 Open all over again, as Mickelson and Stenson were seen fighting it out for the Claret Jug. This time it was the Swedish golfer that prevailed over the five-time major American.

Stenson came into the final day leading by one-stroke at 12 under par, but Mickelson recovered with a birdie on the first to swap positions, but soon after the two were neck-on-neck in the ultimate duel.

Although Stenson won by three strokes, Mickelson was in the form of his life, as he shot a final-round 65 without a single bogey to finish on 17-under at Troon.

"I played a bogey-free round of 65 on the final round of a major, usually that's good enough to do it, and I got beat," said Mickelson after his defeat on Sunday.

The left-hander defeated Stenson by three strokes in 2013, finishing three-under par with a total of 281.

READ: Schwartzel tops in forgettable Open for SA

3. The 'Big Four' disappointment

The Open was a frustrating tournament for the 'Big Four' with only Rory McIlory finishing tied fifth with a final round of 67 and ending on a total of 280.

US Open champion and world No 2 Dustin Johnson finish two strokes behind (282) McIlroy, while world No 1 Jason Day finishing 10th on 285.

Twenty-two-year-old Jordan Spieth, who almost didn't make the cut, scored 68 in the final round to end with a total of 286.

4. Andrew 'Beef' Johnston

Andrew Johnston, who made his debut at the Open, was greeted on every putt with a loud reverberated 'Beeeef' chant from the Scottish crowd as ended the final round on 73 with a total of 281.

The big and bearded Johnston stood on third when he picked up birdies in the first, third and fourth holes, however
four bogeys led to him slipping and ending off in eighth position.

The 27-year-old, who is currently ranked 104th in the world, loved every minute of his time on the course and rejoiced at the home crowds attention, grinning and showing thumps up with every round of applause. It was pretty refreshing to see and certainly put a smile on spectators and critics alike.


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