Home' Australian Golf Digest : July 2017 Contents happy for you.” I think I said, “Well done to
you, too, and remember the conversation
phil mickelson At Oakmont, I’d told him he
had the game to win a Major. I’d said, “I hope
it’s not at my expense,” and a month later it
was at my expense. It’s almost like when I
said it, I kind of knew I had made a mistake.
We laughed about it as we were walking to
the scorer’s tent.
henrik stenson We were sitting there
checking our cards. There was a screen
behind us. Phil looked at it and turned to me
and said, “Ten birdies? Really? F--- off!” But
he did it with a big smile.
phil mickelson We’ve had a relationship
that goes back well over a decade of bantering
and smack-talking and playing pranks and so
forth. He’s a funny guy with a very dry sense
of humour. Very easy guy to like.
pete cowen My wife calls Henrik my “third
son”. She told me we both deserved it because
we had put up with each other for so long. It’s
funny what you think at times like that. My
mind went to what people say after climbing
Everest: “The journey is better than the
arrival.” I was delighted, of course, and I was
proud of him. But emotional? No. I don’t
know what emotion is. Plus, to be fair, when
you look at how Henrik putted, you have to
give credit to Phil Kenyon, his putting coach.
henrik stenson Göran Zachrisson [of
Swedish television] did an interview with me
in the clubhouse. I invited him back to the
IMG house. He’s been going to the Open for
50 years and has covered 200 majors, and
he had never seen a Swede win. He was very
emotional. Towards the end of the broadcast,
he couldn’t speak.
göran zachrisson He came to me with the
jug full of champagne he had poured in there.
Then he poured it into me. We had three
million people watching in Sweden, and there
are only 10 million in the whole country.
pete cowen Henrik rang me that night. I
was in a restaurant with my family. We didn’t
say much. I asked him if he could believe
it. He said he couldn’t. He wasn’t emotional,
either! I don’t think it had sunk in yet. So I
texted him the next day and asked him again:
Can you believe it? All I got back was a picture
of the claret jug sitting on a table. No words.
None were necessary. Actually, I did get a bit
emotional. I was staying in a house at Troon
with some of the caddies. The tradition is
that if anyone wins a Major, they have to pay
for the accommodation. It cost me £3,500.
henrik stenson When I put my US phone
back on at midnight, the text message starting
stacking up. The phone beeped for ages. I
tried to use my Swedish phone to take a video
of the American one. It was almost spinning.
gareth lord Everyone says the back nine is
the toughest, which it is. But Henrik was one-
under on the first day, three-under on Day 2,
then two-under on Saturday and four-under
the last day. That’s 10-under.
henrik stenson Ten under on both nines – I
did not realise that until now. But that is what
won the championship, playing the back
nine better than anyone else.
tim barter Phil had just played the best
round of golf anyone ever has to lose a Major.
paul casey Phil was the unlucky guy who
shoots 65 and loses. I loved that they went
so low. I’m tired of this “protecting courses”
attitude some events have. If a top player is
playing well, he should be able to shoot a low
score. If not, they’ve screwed with the setup.
colin montgomerie They said the scoring
was low. No, it wasn’t. Six-under was third.
It just so happened that two guys went mad,
and they drew the best out in each other.
phil mickelson It was the first time in my
career I had played to this level, to the level
of my expectations, and it was not enough
to win. I had played to this level before, and
every time I’d won. I’d never not won.
jim mackay Had Phil not ever won an Open,
I’d be a mess. I’d be in a straightjacket.
phil mickelson The only thing that really
eases it for me is I do have a Claret Jug
[when he birdied four of the last six holes at
Muirfield to beat Stenson by three strokes].
steve stricker It’s crazy to think about how
many of those Phil would have won any other
year, something like 140 of them. Crazy.
COMPARISONS TO THE DUEL IN THE SUN
colin montgomerie All great events are
competitive events, and that was what we
had in 1977 at Turnberry with the famous
Duel in the Sun with Watson-Nicklaus,
which, all credit to Jack Nicklaus for making
it such an event as it was. And without Phil
Mickelson, Royal Troon’s Open wouldn’t
have been memorable because Henrik
Stenson would have won by – what was he, 14
shots ahead of third place? Incredible. Wow.
jack nicklaus On the last round that Tom
and I played, it was 65, 66. And they were
So they scored better. Did that mean they
played better? I don’t know. When Watson
game. Those guys sure put on one heck of a
show. I thought it was one of the great events
that I really had the pleasure to watch.
tom watson What happened at Troon was
better simply because they played better.
They shot lower scores. But I do think ours
had more drama. Henrik sort of pulled away
there towards the end. Jack and I were right
there together all the way to the last hole, and
the putt he made at 18 [from 35 feet], you
always expect him to do things like that. And
he forced me to make my putt [from two feet
for the win]. We were locked up right to the
henrik stenson I got a wonderful letter
from Jack Nicklaus. Arnold Palmer got in
phil mickelson I watched that [Turnberry].
I was so little, though – I was only 7. But I
remember watching it and watching the
replays. I remember Hubert Green’s line – he
finished third [11 shots behind Watson] – and
he said, “I won this golf tournament. I don’t
know what game those other two guys were
playing.” Pretty funny, because it feels that way.
jim furyk I didn’t see the Duel in the Sun,
but I’ve seen highlights. Hard to believe that
could have been better than what Phil and
Henrik did. But as great as Phil and Henrik
are, how can you beat a Nicklaus-Watson
showdown? It’s two of the greatest players
of all time going at it compared to two great
players. No offence, but two of the all-time
greats going toe-to-toe at Turnberry ... that,
to me, is just hard to beat.
david feherty I had been a pro for a year
[in 1977]. Two iconic players, Watson and
Nicklaus, going at it. This was right up
there with it. Phil Mickelson is certainly an
iconic player. Then there’s Henrik, who is
a late bloomer, and in some ways a lot like
Mickelson was for a long time until he won
his first at the 2004 Masters. The standard of
golf between those two guys, you won’t see
that again for a long time, I think. I mean, it
took nearly 40 years, right?
jim mackay I’m five years older than Phil.
Absolutely remember . And I’d be lying if
I didn’t say that it was in my head a little bit as
we played the back nine. How could it not be,
when you realise the separation and the whole
mano-a -mano thing, the Watson-Nicklaus
thing? When Phil won Deutsche Bank in 2007,
we played on Sunday with Tiger. It was to a
large degree Phil and Tiger coming down the
stretch, and we were on 17 tee waiting for the
group in front of us. Tiger and Steve [Williams]
basically said out loud to Phil and me, “This is
what it’s all about. This is fun.”
colin montgomerie Being from Troon –
that’s my home course; I’m a member of the
place and everything; my dad is the president
there – it’s put Troon on the map, if it wasn’t
already. We’ll talk about that Open for a long,
tom watson I was in a car [in London]
for two-and-a-half hours listening to it on
Sky Radio. It was one of the great events in
history. You rarely get the opportunity or the
pleasure to be able to see an event like that –
and it happened at the Open.
gareth lord People keep saying to me that
it was the best golf they have ever seen. I
think they might be right.
’AT OAKMONT, I’D TOLD HIM HE HAD
THE GAME TO WIN A MAJOR. I’D SAID,
“I HOPE IT’S NOT AT MY EXPENSE,”
AND A MONTH LATER, IT WAS AT MY
– PHIL MICKELSON
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