Mickelson praises Stenson for a job well done
Phil Mickleson can hold his head high as he boards a plane bound back to his native America.
The 46-year-old left-hander produced some marvellous golf as he closed The 145TH Open with a seven under par 65 only to find that he was out-gunned by playing partner Henrik Stenson’s record-breaking form.
“That’s probably the best I’ve played and not won,” declared the 2013 Champion Golfer of the Year. “It’s disappointing but at least I don’t have to look back and regret something I’ve done.
“It was a challenging day but I’m happy for Henrik,” he added. “He’s a really great champion. We’ve been friends for some time. I’ve always thought he was one of the best ball-strikers in the game and that Major Championships should suit him.
“I always knew he would ultimately come through and win. I’m happy that he did but disappointed he did it at my expense.”
Mickelson’s second place finish marked the 11th time he had been runner-up in a Major Championship and took him past Arnold Palmer on that list but still behind well behind Jack Nicklaus who has no less than 19 of those near-misses to his name.
The popular American will get his next chance to claim a sixth Major Championship at the US PGA Championship in two weeks’ time but in the meantime he was keen to praise The R&A for the manner it had set up Royal Troon for the Championship.
“I think the R&A sets the golf course up to be as fair as possible and to try to identify the best player regardless of what the final score might be,” he said. “Sometimes it’s 20 under. Sometimes people don’t go that low under par.
“The fact is if someone shoots incredible golf he deserves to score 20 under par,” he added. “You shouldn’t have to mess with the course too much to control the score.”