Faldo calls Stenson, Mickelson duel ‘perfection’

Sir Nick Faldo was drooling.

The showdown at Royal Troon on Sunday between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson was quite simply golf perfection, according to Faldo.

Henrik Stenson Henrik Stenson (Credit: Callaway Golf)

The six-time major champion, these days a leading golf commentator for a US network, said he has never seen golf perfection that could match the 63 that Stenson put together to hold off Mickelson and secure his first major championship.

“For them to match each other like that, that was links perfection,” said Faldo.

“[I’ve] never seen anything like that. The only good thing is, he [Mickelson] didn’t lose it.”

“You’re going to lose majors, but Phil will look back and say, ‘I did everything I could’.”

“There’s no discredit in that at all. He’s not going to be scarred by that loss.”

“One man won it. The other man didn’t lose.”

Certainly Faldo had a very valid point: Mickelson finished with a four-round total of 267, which would have matched the lowest 72-hole score in British Open history.

The only problem was, Stenson did better than that, posting a new record low score for the Open Championship of 20-under-par 264, thanks to four stunning rounds of 68-65-68-63 for a three-shot victory.

The put it into perspective, the third placegetter, American J.B. Holmes was a further 11 shots behind ‘Lefty’ after a creditable effort.

Faldo, like many others, compared it to the famous ‘Duel In The Sun’ between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977. Faldo was a young lion playing in just his second British Open that week.

“This is another duel like Jack and Tom,” said Faldo said.

“But (Stenson and Mickelson) took it up a couple of notches with the scoring.”

“That was crazy, wasn’t it? The treat that they gave us today…that golf was incredible.”