Stenson dedicates Open triumph to late friend


Henrik Stenson dedicated his maiden major title to late friend Mike Gerbich after producing a phenomenal performance to win the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Stenson was locked in a titanic tussle with playing partner Phil Mickelson for much of Sunday, but found four birdies in the last five holes to prevail by three shots with a record-breaking score of 20 under.

The Swede's final-round 63 will stand alongside the great rounds of major history, a bogey-free 65 from Mickelson somehow proving insufficient as the 2013 Open champion finished 11 shots clear of JB Holmes in third.

After being presented with the Claret Jug, Stenson paid a poignant tribute to Gerbich, who died earlier this week.

"I lost a dear friend on Wednesday morning back in the States, who battled against cancer for a few years. I feel like he's been with me all week and he was a keen golfer. Mike, this one's for you," said the 40-year-old.

Stenson understandably struggled to describe his emotions after finally breaking his major duck, following five previous top-three finishes.

"This will take a little while to sink in. We've just finished so I'm still trying to find my bearings here," he explained.

"I want to firstly thank Phil for a fantastic battle. You played some great golf and obviously I'm delighted to come out on top this time, but thank you very much for a great fight."