Was this the greatest final round duel ever?

Henrik Stenson's victory at the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon was one of the most exciting major finishes of the decade. Golf Channel's Brandel Chamblee and Golf Digest's Jamie Diaz discuss the duel.

Released on 7/18/2017

Transcript

00:00
(violin music)
00:01
I think last year's Open Championship was
00:03
Henrik Stenson's moment.
00:09
What separated him was incredible ball striking
00:12
but when he needed to make a putt,
00:13
not just a birdie putt, but a par save, he did it.
00:17
There was a definitiveness to his effort.
00:19
He just looked like he was focused, this is my time,
00:22
and he was ready for the victory.
00:25
As well as Stenson was playing, Phil was hanging around.
00:28
It was just pretty early on in the fourth round
00:31
when you thought neither one of these guys
00:33
are gonna be mentally affected by what they're doing.
00:35
And they're both playing as well as they've
00:37
ever played in their life.
00:39
You know, he should have run away with it.
00:40
But my goodness, Phil Mickleson, exact same week,
00:43
finds magic as well.
00:45
You know there was this great chemistry between
00:47
he and Mickleson which might've helped.
00:48
And I think it kept things loose in a way
00:51
that kept Henrik from getting a little
00:53
more angry at himself than he might have otherwise.
00:55
Golf doesn't give everybody everything.
00:57
And you always look at a player and you're like,
00:59
if you could just give that player one thing.
01:01
With Henrik forever you'd think,
01:02
just give him a great week with the putter.
01:04
Just one, at the right time, and you know
01:07
this guy would just run the tables on everybody.
01:11
So there was this extra level of determination
01:14
and extra level of focus.
01:15
And it was manifested through his putting.
01:18
But the other part of it was, his attitude was,
01:21
you know, no one's taking this away from me,
01:23
and I'm not giving it away.
01:24
Everybody in our compound was jumpin' up at every shot.
01:28
You know, and jumpin' off the chair and going,
01:30
There's no way, and then he'd chip in.
01:31
He'd make it, a long putt.
01:33
And it, you know, very early on it had that
01:36
Duel in the Sun feel to it.
01:39
From 1977 between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson.
01:44
I think the 1977 Open at Turnberry was superior
01:47
for a couple of reasons.
01:48
Number one Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson were
01:50
the two best players in the world at that time.
01:52
Tom Watson was trying to ascend the throne.
01:54
Jack Nicklaus was holding on to the throne.
01:57
So this great heavy weight fight was going on
02:00
for who's the best in the game.
02:03
The players that they beat by 11 and 10 shots,
02:05
were Hubert Green and Lee Trevino.
02:08
Two of the sternest tests in the game of golf.
02:11
One of those is in the top 10 of all time.
02:13
I think of all the showdowns that we've ever seen,
02:16
the match ups might be debatable,
02:18
but no one ever played better than Henrik Stenson on Sunday.
02:21
(dramatic orchestra music)
More from golfdigest.com
Equipment The Complete Hot List
Equipment The Complete Hot List
Golf Culture Most Annoying Golfers
Golf Culture Most Annoying Golfers
Instruction How To Do Everything
Instruction How To Do Everything
News & Tours Blog: Stay In The Loop
News & Tours Blog: Stay In The Loop
Ranking 100 Greatest Courses
Ranking 100 Greatest Courses
Cover Story Paulina Gretzky
Cover Story Paulina Gretzky