Henrik Stenson put on a history-making display at the 2016 Open Championship, setting a record with a score of 264 and hitting a birdie on the 18th hole to narrowly take the championship.
The Swedish native entered the fourth day of competition in a two-man race with Phil Mickelson. Mickelson had a five-stroke lead after day one at -8, but Stenson spent the next two rounds making a comeback. Going into Sunday’s final round, Stenson led by two, and both were well ahead of Bill Haas and Andrew Johnston, who they were paired with.
Mickelson kept within one stroke of Stenson for most of the day, but a 50-foot putt on the 15th hole gave Stenson an advantage that he held onto, confidently getting a putt to curve into the 18th hole and securing the first place finish.
Stenson, 40, is the first Swede to win the cup. It’s also his first major championship after coming close many times. Over his career, he has finished in the top five seven times in majors.
The performance also matched a record set by Australian Jason Day in the 2015 PGA Championship. Day finished at -20, topping a record set by Tiger Woods in 2000. Stenson matched the -20 just one year later.
Meanwhile, it was Mickelson’s 11th runner-up finish in majors. His -17 would have won 141 of the 145 British Opens in history.
While Mickelson failed to make a comeback, the tournament was still a good one for the United States. Mickelson, J.B. Holmes and Steven Stricker finished second, third and fourth. Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy and Tyrrell Hatton finished in a tie for fifth.