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I knew it was going to be my time, says Open king Stenson

By Steven Beacom

New Open champion Henrik Stenson has revealed that he felt his first Major success was on the cards at the weekend after outscoring Phil Mickelson in a stunning final round at Royal Troon.

The 40-year-old hit a magnificent eight-under-par 63 to become only the second player ever to finish a Major on 20 under par, equalling the record set by Jason Day in last year's US PGA Championship and beating the Open record of 19 under set by Tiger Woods in 2000.

Stenson became the first Swedish man to win a Major title and did it after an epic duel with American Mickelson, who finished on 18 under after shooting 65.

From the first hole yesterday the fireworks began with the pair in scintillating form. For most of the afternoon it was difficult to predict a winner, but Stenson stated he had a feeling all along that his dream of lifting the Claret Jug would come true.

"For some reason I felt like this is my time - and it was," said Stenson. "It's not something you want to run around and shout but I felt like this was going to be my turn. It makes it even more special to beat a competitor like Phil.

"He's been one of the best to play the game - certainly in the last 20 years - so to come out on top after such a fight over these four days makes it even more special."

Stenson dedicated his victory to his friend Mike Gerbich, who passed away from cancer on Wednesday.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, finished tied fifth at four under.

Belfast Telegraph

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