Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Henrik Stenson wins British Open by 3 with record-tying 63


Henrik Stenson won his first major championship on Sunday, shooting an 8-under 63 at Royal Troon to win the British Open by three shots over Phil Mickelson.

The 40-year-old, who became the first male Swede to win a major title, finished at a record-setting 72-hole total of 264, eclipsing Greg Norman’s prior record of 267, which he set in winning the 1993 British Open. In his runner-up finish, Mickelson tied Norman’s 72-hole hole mark.

Stenson also became the second man to finish a major championship at 20-under aggregate, tying Jason Day, who was the first man to finish a major at 20 under or better when he won the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

The remarkable performance did not get off to the best of starts for Stenson, who made a three-putt bogey on the first hole, resulting in a two-shot swing when Mickelson made a tap-in birdie at the opening hole.

From there, however, Stenson only dropped one more shot the rest of the way, doing again with a three-putt at the 11th. Stenson made three consecutive birdies after the first bogey, resulting in 10 birdies altogether, the most ever in a British Open round. The clincher may well have been an unlikely 51-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole from just off the green. However, in trouble in two shots on the par-5 16th, Stenson got up-and-down for birdie, essentially securing the title.

On the final hole, Stenson, with the championship in hand, made the final birdie putt to shoot the 29th round of 63 in a men’s major championship.

Mickelson, for his part, played incredible golf. He didn’t make a bogey on the afternoon, en route at 6-under 65 on Sunday, good enough for his best final round ever in a major championship. It’s the 11th time Mickelson has finished in second place in a major.

Everyone else was playing for third place, with J.B. Holmes winning the B-flight at 6-under 278.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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