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Stenson wins the Open after epic duel with Mickelson

The Swede claimed his first major title with a record-equalling final round to finish 20-under for the tournament, pipping his rival by three strokes.

Stenson wins the Open after epic duel with Mickelson

Record-breaking Swede Henrik Stenson became the first Scandinavian male to capture a major when he won the British Open on Sunday, beating Phil Mickelson in an extraordinary final-round duel.

The world number six shot a brilliant closing eight-under-par 63 to finish 20-under on 264, three ahead of playing partner Mickelson (65).

The 40-year-old Stenson's round equalled the lowest in any major championship and his winning total also represented a new British Open record.

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Ross Kinnaird/R&AR&A via Getty Images

"Wow, this will take a little while to sink in," said Stenson as he held aloft the coveted Claret Jug. "I'm still trying to find my bearings here. I want to thank Phil for a fantastic battle. We played some great golf and I'm delighted to come out on top."

Like two prize fighters in a ring, the two men traded blow after stunning blow, reeling off birdie after birdie to turn the final day of golf's oldest major into a two-way procession.

The rest of the field were nowhere with American JB Holmes (69) taking third position on 278, 11 strokes behind Mickelson as the leading pair evoked memories of the spectacular 'duel in the sun' Turnberry Open of 1977 when Tom Watson edged out Jack Nicklaus in another epic head-to-head.

Steve Stricker (69) of the U.S. was in fourth place on 279, one in front of Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton of England and Spaniard Sergio Garcia.