Sweden’s Henrik Stenson relishing Open challenge

Henrik Stenson

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Sweden’s Henrik Stenson insists he is more than ready to take on Phil Mickelson on Sunday at The Open as he tries to win his first major title.

The 40-year-old had started Saturday’s action one shot behind the American but he produced another solid round to move into the overnight lead going into the final day.

Stenson hit an impressive three-under-par 68 to move to 12-under par, one shot ahead of Mickelson at Royal Troon.

Mickelson is five shots clear of Bill Haas in third, with many expecting the top two to fight it out for the title.

Although the weather could help the rest of the field, both players are expected to push each other all the way – and Stenson insists he is ready for the battle.

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s final round, he told Sky Sports: “This is a new opportunity, I’m playing pretty nicely.

I know Phil is not going to back off, he’s going to keep on trying – even after we’re done.

“He’s a great competitor, one of the finest to play the game in the last 15 years so it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow.

“But I’m right where I want to be, I’m going to stick to my game and hopefully it’ll be good enough when we add it all up tomorrow.”

Stenson is the 1.73 favourite to win the Claret Jug, while Mickelson can be backed at odds of 2.40 with Dafabet.

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