The pair were neck-and-neck going into the last three holes, but Stenson holed an epic 35-yard putt to edge the battle in his direction, and eventually took home the silverware after carding an 8-under 63 on Sunday to finish the tournament at 20-under.
However, whilst Mickelson can be proud of his fighting spirit and brilliant performance this weekend, finishing runner-up will definitely be a sore one to take, mainly because his score was so unbelievably good that it seems inconceivable he didn’t win.
Mickelson’s 72-hole score of -17 was so good that he is now the proud owner of this unbelievable stat – not that it’ll probably console him much in bed tonight:
Phil Mickelson's 72-hole score of -17 would have won all but 4 Opens.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 17, 2016
Mickelson's -17 would have won 141 of the 145 British opens ever played
— GARY IVINS (@BIGNASTY500) July 17, 2016
If Mickelson "wanted to cry" after his opening 63, how's this final score going to sit? https://t.co/2tOUcsxWTW
— Darren Smith (@DSmithShow) July 17, 2016
Mickleson's score would have won all but four Opens in history, but he lost by 3. Incredible! #TheOpen
— Darren Jalland ن (@larbertred) July 17, 2016
Wow! What a remarkable performance from Phil. It’s difficult to believe he lost.
For Mickelson, it’s an 11th runner-up finish at a major in his career. Only Jack Nicklaus, with 19, has more to his name.