Royal Troon finish beats Duel in the Sun - Jack Nicklaus

Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson battled right to the end. Picture: Getty
Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson battled right to the end. Picture: Getty
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Jack Nicklaus has said that he believes Sunday’s thrilling title tussle in The Open Championship at Troon was greater than the famous “Duel in the Sun” between himself and Tom Watson at Turnberry.

“Some in the media have already tried to compare the final round to 1977 at Turnberry, with Tom Watson and me in what they called the ‘Duel in the Sun’, said 18-time major winner Nicklaus as the dust settled on Henrik Stenson’s epic victory over Phil Mickelson in Ayrshire.

Nicklaus added: “I thought we played great and had a wonderful match. On that day, Tom got me, 65-66. Our final round was really good, but theirs was even better.”

Stenson equalled the lowest score in a major with a closing 63 to become the first Scandinavian to win a men’s major. Mickelson finished with a 65.

“I was fortunate to watch every second of the final round and I thought it was fantastic,” wrote Nicklaus on Twitter. “Phil Mickelson played one of the best rounds I have ever seen in The Open and Henrik Stenson just played better – he played one of the greatest rounds I have ever seen.”

“Henrik drove the ball well, his iron game was great, his short game was wonderful and his putting was great.”