Stenson does not envisage another Mickelson thriller


Henrik Stenson says it will be difficult for him and Phil Mickelson to recreate the dramatic final-round showdown at this year's Open if they were to face off in Sunday's singles at the Ryder Cup.

The Swede outlasted Mickelson in a thrilling tussle at Royal Troon in July to secure his first major triumph, firing 10 birdies to shoot 63 and finish with the lowest aggregate total in major history.

There is a chance that Stenson and Mickelson will go head-to-head once again when Europe meet United States in the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine this weekend.

But Stenson believes the possibility of a repeat thriller is not high and is focusing on coming out on top regardless of his opponent.

"Well, he's [Mickelson] one of the best players for the last 20 years," he told a news conference. 

"It's always a huge challenge to go up against him and if I were to face him again this week then of course I'm going to try my hardest to beat him once more.

"But I think it's just one of them, it's a risk. It's going to be a big disappointment because everyone is going to expect we are going to play as well as we did at Troon and there's very slim chances that's going to happen.

"I'm just going to bring my best game whoever I face this week and if it's Phil it's going to be another tough game."

Stenson sustained a knee injury that saw him pull out of the Barclays last month and has not played tournament golf since the Deutsche Bank Championship at the beginning of September.

But he believes that the rest will be a benefit at Hazeltine.

"I definitely needed it [the break]. That's why I set my playing schedule the way I did," he added. "That was just something I needed to do. I was pretty drained after the summer here with The Open, and the PGA [Championship] was a draining week also, and the Olympics.

"I have played a lot of golf, played some good golf and, as you know, being up in contention takes a lot out of you. It's been a fantastic summer, so I needed a bit of a breather. I hope to be ready on Friday when we kick off again."