Unless golf’s fickle hand of fate interferes, Sunday’s final day at The Open Championship figures to be a two-man race between a 5-time Major winner and man looking to win his first at age 40.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson fired his second 68 in three days to take a 1-stroke lead over American Phil Mickleson on Saturday. Stenson is 12-under through 54 holes. Mickelson shot a 70 on Saturday, and is trending the wrong way if he wants to win this event for the second time, having gone from 63 to 69 to 70 in three rounds.
American Bill Haas is six strokes back of Stenson after shooting a 2-under 69. The UK’s Andrew Johnston is fourth at 5-under, no other golfer is within seven strokes of the lead, and only 17 men total are at least one stroke under par – among them defending champion Zach Johnson and US Open champ Dustin Johnson both at 1-under.
Stenson started the day a stroke behind Mickelson but caught him on the first hole with a birdie, and passed him with a birdie on No. 4. He gave the lead back up with bogeys on 6 and 8, and Mickelson upped the lead to two strokes when he birdied No. 13.
The two were tied for the lead again when Stenson birdied 14 while Mickelson bogeyed it. Mickelson got back up by one with a birdie on 16, then fell behind when he bogeyed 17 and Stenson birdied it.
Sunday will mark four days short of three years to the day that Mickleson won the 2013 Open Championship, hist last win on either tour.