Sten­son wins Bri­tish Open

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Oseab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Ed­in­burgh: Hen­rik Sten­son has crowned one of golf’s great come­backs with a thrilling and breath­tak­ing Bri­tish Open tri­umph at Royal Troon.

In the finest fi­nal round in Open his­tory, Sten­son eclipsed Phil Mick­el­son by three shots in an epic bat­tle down the stretch that evoked mem­o­ries of Tom Wat­son’s fa­mous “Duel in the Sun” vic­tory over Jack Nick­laus at Turn­berry 39 years ago.

The cool Swede closed with an in­cred­i­ble 10 birdies in a record-equalling eight-un­der-par-63 to fin­ish with an his­toric 72-hole to­tal of 20-un­der 264 to be­come the first Scan­di­na­vian man ever to win a ma­jor cham­pi­onship.

The stun­ning ag­gre­gate - af­ter pre­vi­ous rounds of 68-65-68 - beat Tiger Woods’ all-time low scor­ing record from his ru­n­away vic­tory at St An­drews in 2000.

Sten­son’s suc­cess was also sweet re­venge af­ter Mick­el­son over­turned a one-shot deficit to deny him the Claret Jug at Muir­field in 2013.

“Wow, this will take a lit­tle while to sink in,” Sten­son said af­ter kiss­ing the Claret Jug and ded­i­cat­ing his vic­tory to a “dear friend” he’d lost last week to can­cer.

“Thank you Phil for a fan­tas­tic bat­tle. You played some great golf.

“I’m ob­vi­ously de­lighted to come out on top this time, but thank you very much for a great fight.” Bid­ding to be­come the old­est Open win­ner since Old Tom Mor­ris in 1867, Mick­el­son was gal­lant with a flaw­less 65 fea­tur­ing four birdies and an ea­gle - but still un­able to land a fairy­tale sixth ca­reer ma­jor at 46.

Go­ing birdie for birdie all week­end, the pair sep­a­rated them­selves from the field, just like Wat­son and Nick­laus fin­ished 11 and 10 shots ahead of their chal­lengers in 1977. -AAP crease they ap­peared to still have a chance but he was un­done by Yasir Shah when he was two short of his half cen­tury.

The end was nigh af­ter that as the fi­nal three wick­ets went down for 12 runs.

Pak­istan’s play­ers cel­e­brated vic­tory by do­ing press-ups in front of their ju­bi­lant sup­port­ers.

“It is one of the top wins as cap­tain and for Pak­istan as a team,” cap­tain Mis­bah ul-Haq said. “I am very proud of the team and the way they came out and showed re­ally good skills.

“To­day, men­tally ev­ery­body was strong, and were pa­tient. Ev­ery­one bowled well, es­pe­cially Yasir Shah.” - Reuters All Blacks” first ap­peared on the jer­sey in 1986. In 1994 long-time spon­sors Stein­lager had their em­blem added to the uni­form. Adi­das took over the man­u­fac­tur­ing from Can­ter­bury New Zealand in 1999. The words “New Zealand” were dropped in 2003, and in 2012 the three let­ters of spon­sor AIG were placed on the front of the jer­sey. The white col­lar was brought back ahead of the 2011 World Cup be­fore be­ing dropped again in 2015.

Adi­das re­mains tight-lipped on the lat­est re­vamp. “Un­for­tu­nately due to our com­mer­cial com­mit­ments we are un­able to dis­cuss de­tails on the fu­ture plan­ning of our part­ner­ship with the All Blacks,” New Zealand coun­try man­ager Quentin Bleak­ley said.

Un­til the new look is re­leased, fans look­ing to deck them­selves out in the cur­rent edi­tion would be best off shop­ping half­way around the world.

Of­fi­cial replica 2015 jer­seys, fea­tur­ing the sil­ver fern, adi­das and AIG lo­gos, are on sale at up­mar­ket Har­rods in Lon­don for £9.95, or just $17.95. The same gar­ment will set you back $150 at Rebel Sport, Stir­ling Sports or the adi­das store. - Her­ald on Sun­day

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