2016 has brought us another great year of great golf, but for me, the undoubted highlight on the Tour scene was Henrik Stenson’s brilliant victory in The Open at Royal Troon.
Stenson is one of my favourite golfers anyway. I love his competitive spirit and his style of play. He’s also a great character, as can be seen on his social media account. For example, have a look at his official Facebook page if you’ve never done so before, to see what I mean.
His Open victory saw him post a record score of 20 under par, and was also history-making in that it made him the first ever golfer from Sweden to win a Major.
And who forget that thrilling duel with Phil Mickelson, who he was partnered with for both the Saturday and Sunday, as both men produced absolutely brilliant play over the final 36 holes.
The final day began with Stenson a shot ahead of the American at 12 under, but that all changed on just the first hole, as he bogeyed and Mickelson birdied.
Stenson replied in fine form though, knocking in five birdies over the next seven holes, to re-take the lead by one stroke over Mickelson, who managed a further birdie and also an eagle during that time.
They were level again when Stenson bogeyed the 11th but he re-took the lead with a birdie on the 14th and then a magnificent 45-foot putt on the next green saw him go two ahead for the first time.
A birdie each on the 16th meant he remained two up with two to go, and a par by each player on the 17th meant Stenson was huge favourite going to the last.
He wrapped up victory when Mickelson left his approach shot about 30 feet short, as Stenson instead fired to 15 feet and rolled in his putt from there to take the title.
2016 brought other great achievements for Stenson too. For example, he won the Race to Dubai, and claimed the silver medal when golf returned to the Olympics. But personally, it’s that victory in the Open that provides the outstanding memory.
To me, it’s the golfing highlight of 2016.