Majestic Stenson secures historic first Men’s Major for Sweden.
All too often in sport superlatives are over used for better than average performances. This observation does not however ring true for an Open Championship to rival the best this great event has ever produced. The consensus among all that watched yesterday was that this was a duel that stands alongside the “duel in the sun” fought out by Watson and Nicklaus just up the coast in Turnberry in 1977. Golfing gods battling it out in golfing paradise. Referred to several times in TV broadcasts, the “duel in the wind” even enjoyed some rays of sunshine, right on queue for the crowning of Sweden’s new Golfing Legend. The iceman eventually froze out the magician that is “Leftie”.
Ten birdies in a remarkable 63 with his fearsome opponent throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at him, made for riveting viewing. Throw in a three putt bogey at the first hole which resulted in falling behind immediately and the golf that followed is all the more astonishing. The constant reference to duel in the sun from 39 years ago were entirely appropriate as these are once in a generation showdowns. These guys lapped the field with Stenson and Mickelson finishing fourteen and eleven shots ahead of third place respectively.
The European Tour correctly refers to him as Stunning Stenson in reporting the victory. Mickelson for his part pushed him all the way but Stenson was relentless and birdies on fourteen and fifteen opened up a two shot gap. The sixteenth however seemed to seal victory for Stenson. Sunshine having come out and the wind abated, Mickelson shaved the edge for an eagle three. After two precise blows to the heart of the green. Stenson chipped and putted from the left rough to match Mickelson’s four. An iron shot to seven feet on Seventeen and another birdie on eighteen meant Stenson could relax somewhat after freezing out a rampaging Mickelson. A bogey free 65 by Mickelson in the final round of The Open to lose by three. Hard to believe.
While this author lost a few bob having vehemently refused to cash out on a Mickelson bet throughout the week and indeed in the final round, I can never remember taking such enjoyment in losing money. We are big Mickelson fans here at Premier Irish Golf Tours, but nothing could take from Stenson’s victory who has been long overdue major success and now justly takes his place among the greats of the game. This Open Championship will go down in history as one of the Greatest and it was a privilege to sit back, with the feet up and watch these two gladiators go toe to toe. The superlatives are flowing now! Lets hope this sets the standard for Major Championships yet to come. Awesome!