Henrik Stenson teeing off (Source: Shutterstock)
In winning the 2016 Open Championship, Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson became the first male Scandinavian to win a major tournament, improving on his second place finish in 2013.
Stenson set a record in the process of winning his first major as he produced the lowest 72-hole score in a major by finishing on 20 under, with 264.
Henrik Stenson finally has his major championship.
— PGA.COM (@PGAcom) July 17, 2016
Two years on and Henrik Stenson has failed to rediscover the form he showed at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland in 2016. However, this year’s Open Championship represents a great opportunity for the Swede to return to top form.
The current Betfair Open Championship odds have Stenson at 25/1 to win the title for a second time, while 2017 winner Jordan Spieth is currently the third favourite with a price of 14/1.
For those who didn’t have the privilege of seeing Henrik Stenson’s 2016 victory, here’s a trip down memory lane:
Henrik Stenson trailed leader Phil Mickelson by five shots at the end of the first round, as he shot three under par, while the American shot eight under.
At that stage, the Swede was trailing behind 11 others – two shots behind both Martin Kaymer of Germany and the United States’ Patrick Reed, and one shot behind eight other players. Stenson and nine other players shot 68 at the end of round one.
A total of 50 players shot under par in perfect weather conditions in the first round of the tournament.
Phil Mickelson was close to becoming the first player in history to score 62 at a major. However, as the ball looked set to drop in, it lipped out to deny the American history. Instead he became the 28th player to score 63 at a major and had built a three-shot lead over his nearest rivals.
Stenson was now five shots behind the leader and must have been thinking he would need to produce something magical or hope for a Mickelson slip up to be within a chance of winning.
Phil Mickelson- Clubhouse leader after the second round (Source: Shutterstock)
Mickelson remained in the lead after the second round. However, in this round he had shot a score of 69, presenting an opportunity for the chasing pack to close the gap at the top.
Henrik Stenson used this as an opportunity to fight back, and did so by shooting 65, leaving him just one shot behind the leader.
He had moved within one shot of Mickleson by birdying the 16th hole, though failed to capitalise on an opportunity to take the lead in the final two holes.
Phil Mickelson’s form continued to drift as he relinquished the lead by the end of the third round with a score of 70.
Stenson stepped up to become the new clubhouse leader by shooting 68, leaving him out in front by one shot.
The pair now had a comfortable lead over American Bill Haas, who was leading the chasing pack down in third place, but trailing Mickelson by five shots.
Henrik Stenson produced his most memorable performance of the tournament in the final found, albeit a tightly contested affair with his rival.
Mickelson had scored 65, finishing the tournament with a score of 267. It would not be enough for the three-time Masters winner as his Swedish rival would produce the form of his life when he needed it most.
Stenson produced a record-breaking score of 63 in the final round, claiming his first major title with a three-shot victory.
Prior to 2016, Stenson had only ever finished as a majors runner-up once, as well as finishing in third place on four occasions. Victory represented his and Sweden’s first as a male at a major.