Cool Stenson not feeling the pressure


Henrik Stenson is ready for Sunday's Open Championship showdown with Phil Mickelson after closing round three with a one-shot advantage.

The Swede reversed the overnight deficit to the American with a 68 at Royal Troon on Saturday, handing him the 54-hole lead at a major for the first time.

Despite that fact and never having won a major, Stenson appeared calm and collected afterwards, insisting the supposed pressure would not be a factor.

"I don't necessarily feel that much pressure," he said. It's a great opportunity. But at the same time I feel like I've got nothing to lose in that sense.

"I haven't won The Open just because I have the 54-hole lead. I'm just going to go out there and try my hardest. That's the only thing I can do.

"I know he's not going to back down and I'm certainly going to try to not back down either. So it should be an exciting afternoon.

"I'm sticking to my game plan. I'm going to try to play my game as much as I can and if I can play another solid round, hopefully that will be good at the end of the day.

"I know I've got the game to win one of these championships or a few, hopefully by the end of my career, and I will just try my hardest."

Speaking about the challenge of facing a five-time major winner in what amounts to 18 holes of match play, Stenson added: "He's one of the best to play the game in the last 15, 20 years for sure and it's going to be a tough match.

"But I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I've worked hard these first three days to put myself in this situation and, once again, going to try my hardest to finish the job."