The British Open has developed into a duel between two of the best veteran players in the world. Sweden's Henrik Stenson takes a one-stroke lead over American Phil Mickelson into the final day of the tournament.
Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson began Saturday at 10 under, one shot better than Henrik Stenson, but the Swede got off to a hot start, going three under for the first four holes.
That put him one stroke up on Mickelson, who began solidly with one birdie and three pars. Stenson faltered briefly, though, bogeying the par-five sixth and also dropping a stroke two holes later.
Mickelson was a model of consistency in blustery but largely dry conditions at Troon, carding nothing worse than a par through thirteen. But Stenson, who's seeking his first-ever Major win, showed his mettle on the back nine, reeling off a series of pars.
The day turned on the 17th hole. Stenson drained a putt for a birdie, while Mickelson had to settle for a bogey, having short-sided himself on the par three. The resulting two-stroke swing put the Swede back in the lead to stay. Stenson was three under on the day, compared to one under for Mickelson.
Stenson and Mickelson both parred the 18th - with Mickelson making a fine sand save - to finish -12 and -11 respectively. Bill Haas is all the way back at -6, with crowd favorite Andrew "Beef" Johnston at -5 and J.B. Holmes at -4.
Sunday thus promises another see-saw head-to-head battle between Stenson and Mickelson for the Claret Jug, which, if it's anything like Saturday's action, will be a treat for golf fans.