Troon trumps Turnberry with better golf

No chance... I was never going to win: McIlroy Spieth Day Rose on being Open footnotes

Mickelson, who was the runner-up after Henrik Stenson shot a 63 of his own during a Sunday duel, is going to enjoy the fact that he's sharing the last spot on this list with his pal, Tiger.

Like two prize fighters in a ring, the two men traded blow after stunning blow, reeling off birdie after birdie to turn the last day of golf's oldest major into a two-way procession.

Stenson had always been considered one of the best players on Tour never to have won a Major, but he put that right in the most spectacular fashion at Royal Troon on Scotland's west coast.

"I'm very proud of the way I played. What a great match". It seemed like it was going to be a two-horse race, and it was all the way to the end. Only legendary American golfer Jack Nicklaus has more second place finishes in majors with 19.

And the showdown between the two forty-somethings more than lived up to its billing as they produced an exhibition of world-class golf. Even on the 72nd hole, Stenson came perilously close to finding a fairway bunker from the tee. It was just the fourth birdie at the hole in the final round.

"He said "I've twisted the knife into my heart enough times, you can have some of it now".

As well as equalling the lowest score recorded in any major, which Mickelson had also done in the first round, Stenson's 63 was only the second recorded in the final round of a major by the eventual victor after Johnny Miller in the 1973 US Open. "We played some great golf and I'm delighted to come out on top". Henrik Stenson is my man crush and I'm not ashamed to say it! He also ended a streak of six American winners at Royal Troon that dated to 1950.

The former Dubai resident, who was already assured of a place in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, went toe-to-toe with Mickelson in one of the most fascinating Major championship final round duels in history.

His victory prevented Mickelson from becoming the seventh straight American victor of an Open to be held at Troon.

He is 46, in his 25th year as a pro. The 63 gave him the cushion he rode to his first major championship in a year in which he held or shared the lead in all four majors after 54 holes.

If it wasn't for Henrik Stenson's remarkable 20 under score, Mickelson would be admiring the Claret Jug right now and celebrating the sixth major of his career.

Golf will return to the Olympic schedule in Brazil next month after an 112-year absence, but Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are among a host of stars to have pulled out of the tournament.

The Ulsterman ended a fractious tournament in good style to record another top-five finish in a major.

Steve Stricker (69) of the USA was in fourth place on 279, one in front of Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton of England and Spaniard Sergio Garcia.

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