Call it the Open Championship. Call it The British. I’m not calling what I just watched at Royal Troon “The Dual of the Century.” or “The Battle of the Ages.” Because in duals and battles, either side can win it. And there was NO WAY Henrik Stenson was losing that thing.
Phil Mickelson was out of his mind. But Stenson wasn’t even human. He would have shot a final round 56 if he had to. If the Mick had double-eagled, Stenson would have bounced his tee shot off the cart path for an ace. He was doing Splash Brother stuff with a golf club. Heat check wedge shots and goose neck puts. This wasn’t the golf gods smiling down on him. He WAS the golf god.
Hefty shot a final round SIXTY-FIVE with no bogeys… And lost by three strokes. That’s a joke. Stenson just dropped a tee-to-green trick shot video.
That wasn’t a major championship, it was Dude Perfect. And I’ll tell you what else was perfect- this new chapter in Mickelson’s Bridesmaid brand. Nobody finishes second quite like the big fella. And this was his master stroke.
Because Mickelson is about a few core principles: A wicked short game, an even filthier Drive-thru game, insider trading (allegedly), presenting himself as a man-of-the-people, and milking those heart break 2nd place finishes for all they’re worth. He’s one of the only athletes that’s MORE lovable to the galleries when he finishes second than first.
In some ways- it’s actually BETTER for him. And that’s why the Open was so great for him. Played the best golf of his life, and still finished second to make everybody want to give him a hug. That’s where he lives. The lovable loser sweet spot is where he thrives.
After all, the guy has finished there ELEVEN times. And this one was the best – because it wasn’t even his own doing.
Typically The Heft gags a tournament because he tears his own heart out by doing something stupid and reckless down the stretch. But he didn’t blow this championship. Stenson just blew up the world.
The weekend was still a huge win for Hefty. He’s now just 8 runner-ups short of the Jack Nicklaus. Never mind Tiger getting to 19 majors. That chase has been dead for years. Hefty running down 20 second places is the new Chase for The Bear.
This post brought to you by Jim Rome.