Monday 24 October 2016

Six things we learned at Royal Troon

Published 19/07/2016 | 02:30

Henrik Stenson. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Henrik Stenson. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

1. Age is no barrier to winning: Of all the Majors, the British Open rewards experience, resilience and mental toughness honed over years to cope with the bumps and bounces of links, plus the inevitable weather challenges.

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2. Fitness pays off

Phil Mickelson, 46, is 25lbs lighter and fitter than he was a decade ago. Henrik Stenson, 40, keeps himself in great shape. Over 72 gruelling holes, these two never ran out of steam.

3. The 63 barrier can be broken

Nobody has shot lower than 63 in any round in Open history, but Mickelson was only millimetres away from dropping a putt for 62 in the first round and Stenson had two three-putts in his, so a sub-63 surely has to happen soon.

4. Keep lady luck on your side

If it is to be your week, you need a touch of luck. Stenson and Mickelson played on the better half of the draw, avoiding the worst of the weather.

5. Sky Sports got it right

They took over from the dearly-loved BBC presentation and threw all they had at it. A golf nerd's delight with their technical innovations such as the wire camera above the eighth hole, the bunker cameras, the graphics, pro-tracer etc.

6. Rory's getting close

After three Majors of the season Rory McIlroy has a tied-fourth at the Masters, a missed cut at the US Open, and tied-fifth at the British Open. He's not far away from putting it all together and it could well happen at the US PGA.

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